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Bosch back to add more bite for the Pumas

By Mark Bryans

Published 24/10/2015

Available: Marcelo Bosch is back after his suspension
Available: Marcelo Bosch is back after his suspension

Saracens centre Marcelo Bosch will start for Argentina in tomorrow's World Cup semi-final against Australia after serving his suspension.

Bosch slots in for Matias Moroni in head coach Daniel Hourcade's sole change from last weekend's 43-20 quarter-final victory over Ireland.

The 31-year-old was handed a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle against Namibia, missing the last-eight triumph over Joe Schmidt's side in Cardiff.

Captain and hooker Agustin Creevy is fit to start the Twickenham showdown after leg trouble forced him out of the second-half against the Irish.

Creevy's potent scrummaging and leadership will hand the Pumas a big boost for their second semi-final in eight years.

Creevy's presence alongside Leicester's big-scrummaging loosehead Marcos Ayerza is sure to trouble the Australians, who have lost their scrum anchor Scott Sio.

Meanwhile, Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino is likely to be twiddling his thumbs impatiently as he flies back to London after tomorrow's Premier League clash at Bournemouth.

That is because the 43-year-old Argentinian is an avid follower of rugby and will be keen to know how Argentina are faring.

Pochettino was in the crowd at the Millennium Stadium for the quarter-final victory over Ireland but he will be otherwise engaged tomorrow as his Spurs side take on the Cherries.

"I was at Cardiff last Sunday," said Pochettino.

"It was fantastic - but I am focused on an important game.

"I think we fly on Sunday, so it will be difficult to see on the plane. I enjoy rugby always. I am a rugby fan, because in my time when I was in France (playing for Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux) a lot of Argentine players were at the Stade de France.

"I was always a fan because in Argentina the tradition of rugby is massive. I remember Hugo Porta (Argentina's second-highest points scorer of all time) from when I was a boy. The tradition in Argentina is like in England -rugby is like a religion - rugby is one of the most important things."

The Murphy-born manager's family will be keeping him up to date with proceedings in south-west London.

"It is difficult not to find out the score because my wife and kid will be watching the Argentina game," he continued.

"They will be keeping in touch with me by phone. It is impossible for them to keep the information away from me.

"But I am sure Argentina have the possibility to win because they arrived in a good position and they are very fit and everyone is available. But Australia will be difficult."

Having made his name as a central defender who played in Argentina, Spain and France, picking up 20 international caps along the way, Pochettino still does not feel he would have ever been cut out for a career with the oval ball.

"I could never, ever have been a professional rugby player," he added.

"I am not brave enough, like them. Yes I was a defender, but when you watch rugby you realise it is a very difficult sport and you need to be very, very, very brave."

Argentina: J Tuculet, S Cordero, M Bosch, JM Hernandez, J Imhoff, N Sanchez, M Landajo, M Ayerza, A Creevy (capt), R Herrera, G Petti, T Lavanini, P Matera, JM Fernandez Lobbe, L Senatore. Replacements: J Montoya, L Noguera, J Figallo, M Alemanno, F Isa, T Cubelli, J De La Fuente, LG Amorosino.

Belfast Telegraph

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