Tokyo (AFP) – Argentina have turned to mercurial Stade Francais fly-half Nicolas Sanchez to pull the strings for Los Pumas’ opening World Cup Pool C match against France on Saturday.
Sanchez has a ream of French experience, having also played for Stade’s Top 14 rivals Bordeaux-Begles and Toulon over four seasons before linking up briefly with the Jaguares in Super Rugby.
Argentina will be skippered by marauding flanker Pablo Matera in a strong-looking pack that sees Saracens’ Juan Figallo starting at tight-head prop.
The third player in Argentina’s 31-man squad attached to a club outside the South American country is also included, as coach Pablo Ledesma named goal-kicking Castres playmaker Benjamin Urdapilleta on the bench.
The rest of the match-day team play for the Jaguares, who made it to the Super Rugby final in July, going down 19-3 to the Crusaders.
Argentina team to play France in a World Cup Pool C match in Tokyo on Saturday:
Emiliano Boffelli; Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Ramiro Moyano; Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli; Javier Ortega Desio, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera (capt); Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti; Juan Figallo, Agustin Creevy, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Replacements: Julian Montoya, Mayco Vivas, Santiago Medrano, Matias Alemanno, Tomas Lezana, Felipe Ezcurra, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Santiago Carreras