Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Sharpe ready for Pumas challenge

Nathan Sharpe is expecting a tough test against Argentina

Stand-in Australia captain Nathan Sharpe is bracing himself for an all-out assault from an 'unorthodox' Argentina in Saturday's Test on the Gold Coast.

As the only player in the current Australian squad to have faced the Pumas before - at the 2002 World Cup - the veteran lock has a slightly better idea than his team-mates as to what challenge awaits them at Skilled Park.

"One of the memories that I do have is the unorthodox method with which they play," Sharpe said. "It's not so much tactics but techniques. If you look at the way they scrummage and maul and line-out, particularly in forwards play. They're very good kickers of the ball as well - field position is a big one for them."

Sharpe will lead the team after Will Genia joined James Horwill and David Pocock on the sidelines. In-form second-rower Sitaleki Timani is also out.

Pumas coach Santiago Phelan has dropped half-back Nicolas Vergallo and full-back Martin Rodriguez, replacing them with Martin Landajo and Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.

Vice-captain Patricio Albacete, a stand-out in the Argentinian second row, will earn his 50th cap.

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