Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Roncero wants to end on high

Veteran prop Rodrigo Roncero is targeting a victorious farewell from Test rugby when Argentina tackle injury-hit Australia in Rosario.

Roncero announced on Thursday that this will his 55th and final match for Argentina - and he has never had a better chance to claim the major southern hemisphere scalp he craves.

"I retire content, the Pumas jersey gave me some of the best moments in my life," Roncero said. "Looking back, my career has been extremely positive. I played at three World Cups and I managed to play the first Rugby Championship. I'm just missing the plum of beating one of the three powers (New Zealand, South Africa and Australia)."

Argentina drew their first home match with South Africa and came close to beating the Wallabies on the Gold Coast, leading 19-6 before falling to a late Australia comeback.

The Wallabies, meanwhile, are ravaged by injuries.

Robbie Deans has had to make five changes from last weekend's 31-8 defeat to South Africa in Pretoria and he decided to try and match the Pumas physicality.

Mike Harris will start at full-back and Ben Tapuai comes into the centres to win his second cap after Berrick Barnes and Adam Ashley-Cooper were injured at Loftus Versfeld.

The Wallabies are already without David Pocock and Will Genia plus Quade Cooper, who has heaped the pressure on coach Robbie Deans with claims that the environment in the Australia camp is "toxic".

Nick Cummins will become the 11th Australian debutant of 2012 when he starts on the wing in place of Dominic Shipperley while flanker Sitaleki Timani and prop James Slipper also start in an inexperienced side.

Australia's starting XV has the combined total of 345 Test caps - 110 of which belong to the captain Nathan Sharpe.


From Belfast Telegraph