Contemponi to lead Pumas

2008-08-07 22:11

Johannesburg - Experienced back Felipe Contemponi will lead Argentina in the Mandela Tribute Test against World Champions South Africa at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Contemponi takes over the captaincy from now retired scrumhalf Agustin Pichot.

The Argentina team named by new coach Santiago Phelan consists of 10 members who turned out for the South Americans at the World Cup tournament in France last October.

In place of Pichot at scrumhalf is the promising Nicolas Vergallo, while the backs also include the experienced Horacio Agulla on the wing.

Up front Juan Fernandez Lobbe will lead a loose-trio that also comprises the veteran Martin Durand. Hooker Mario Ledesma, with more than 60 outings for his country, is the most capped player in the side.

Besides the absence of Pichot, the Pumas are also without inspirational flyhalf Juan Martin Hernandez, a start performer for the side at last year's World Cup tournament.

Argentina are coming off a 12-13 defeat by Italy, while South Africa are looking to bounce back after losing to Australia in Perth nearly three weeks ago in a Tri-Nations match.

The one-off Test is in celebration of former South Africa president Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday. The Springboks will face New Zealand and Australia in the home leg of the Tri-Nations tournament after this weekend's match.

Team (15-1)

Bernardo Stortoni; Jose Maria Nunez Piossek, Federico Martin Aramburu, Miguel Avramovic, Horacio Agulla; Felipe Contemponi (capt), Nicolas Vergallo; Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Martin Durand; Patricio Albacete, Rimas Alvarez; Pedro Ledesma, Mario Ledesma, Rodrigo Roncero.

Replacements: Alberto Vernet Basualdo, Marcos Ayerza, Esteban Lozada, Alvaro Galindo, Alfredo Lalanne, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Rafael Carballo.