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Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade: Wales will be hurting after Australia loss

Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade expects the Pumas to face a Wales team hurting from defeat.

Wales have an immediate chance to bounce back from a 32-8 drubbing by Australia last weekend when they meet the Wallabies' Rugby Championship rivals.

Argentina shipped 40 points when they last played Wales in Cardiff, but the Pumas won on Welsh soil 12 months before that and go into this weekend's contest after climbing above their opponents in rugby's official world rankings.

Hourcade, though, has adopted a cautious approach to those who believe Argentina should be installed as favourites on Saturday.

"We are really motivated, but we know we will face a hard team that has a lot of pressure on it after a bad game last week," he said. "They will want to win.

"They are hurt and are a really good team. They will want to change what happened last week.

"It would be a huge mistake to think we are going to face the same team that played against Australia. They will have worked hard this week to play better, and it is going to be a tough game.

"We are worried about a hurt, great team on Saturday. You cannot be really confident. We would prefer to play Wales in a better moment."

Although Argentina finished last in this year's Rugby Championship, winning one of their six games, their exciting brand of off-loading, attacking rugby won many admirers.

But Hourcade says such an adventurous approach - allied to traditional Pumas forward power - remains very much a work in progress.

"We are in the middle of our process," he added.

"We are capable of playing anywhere on the field, but we are taking some bad decisions on the field. That is down to a lack of experience in a young team.

"But I prefer to have those type of mistakes. We play high-quality games all season, and it is a matter of time before we find the solution.

"We can see development in the players. We suffered in the first season (of Super Rugby) and have had to get used to playing against high-level teams throughout a season. But players are growing individually, and we need to capitalise on that.

"The (2015) World Cup team (Argentina were semi-finalists) had a really good mix of youth and experience. That is what we expect to get in 2019 in Japan. That is what we are working for, and it is our main objective."


From Belfast Telegraph