Argentina vs New Zealand: Pumas take on All Blacks in Rugby Championship live on Sky Sports
Watch Argentina vs New Zeaband in the Rugby Championship live on Sky Sports Arena from 10.55am on Saturday; Below, we look at the team news, talking points and quotes from both All Blacks head coach Ian Foster and Pumas head coach Mario Ledesma to media this week.
Last Updated: 18/09/21 7:00am
New Zealand's dress rehearsal for their anticipated clash with South Africa will take place without most of their stars in the second Rugby Championship Test vs Argentina on Saturday, live on Sky Sports...
The All Blacks and Springboks will meet in a Test for the 100th time in a 25,000-seat stadium at Townsville in northern Queensland next weekend.
Saturday's Brisbane match against the Pumas is New Zealand's last before the clash with South Africa and head coach Ian Foster has approached it by resting most of his leading players.
Foster has named a team with 11 changes among the starting 15 from the one which beat Argentina 39-0 in the first match between the teams last weekend. His swinging changes include an all-new forward pack and, for the third time in as many matches, a change of captaincy.
To an extent, Foster is flexing his muscles, showing off the All Blacks' depth, with every significant combination on the field altered.
He has handed Damian McKenzie the No 10 jersey for the second time in his career and the first in over three years, stationing Beauden Barrett on the bench as he nurses a minor calf muscle twinge.
Foster's predecessor, Steve Hansen, saw McKenzie as a viable, long-term prospect at fly-half and the Chiefs man is comfortable and competent in the role.
The midfield partnership is new, one winger is changed with Sevu Reece out for Will Jordan, and only wing George Bridge, scrum-half TJ Perenara, full-back Jordie Barrett and centre Rieko Ioane return.
Jordan, on the right wing, has scored 11 tries in only seven Tests for New Zealand and Quinn Tupaea at inside-centre is full of promise.
Ardie Savea will captain the team again after doing so for the first time in New Zealand's win over Australia in Perth two weeks ago. He sustained a minor head injury in that match and relinquished the leadership last week to another first-time captain, lock Brodie Retallick.
Savea joins a backrow which includes the powerful No 8 Hokins Sotutu and talented Ethan Blackadder. Joe Moody also returns from injury to take up his regular place at loosehead prop, starting for the first time this season after recovering from foot surgery.
"When you look at the changes, with some of the injured boys coming into the mix, I think it is a positive for us," said Foster, who has to manage workloads as the All Blacks face five Test matches in as many weekends.
"It's always the great balancing act. You don't want to run out of steam in the last couple of Test matches in a five-Test block.
"Also, making sure that we have got the energy to be explosive out on the park in all five matches. I guess it is the art of selection."
Pumas coach Mario Ledesma has followed suit, making six personnel and two positional changes to his line-up, also naming a new fly-half.
"Some changes are mandatory and others are combinations of players that we wanted to see," Ledesma said. "We have to find the balance between testing players and taking the game plan we want to the field."
The Pumas are uniquely well-travelled among world rugby's top-tier nations and Ledesma weekly faces the risk of burnout.
Ledesma: Pumas must improve attack against All Blacks after successive shutouts
Argentina have failed to score a point in their last two meetings with the All Blacks and coach Ledesma wants his side to take better care of the ball when they attack the Rugby Championship leaders.
The Pumas were thrashed 39-0 by New Zealand on the Gold Coast on Sunday, after losing their previous meeting with them 38-0 in the southern hemisphere championship last year.
But Ledesma does not have to look far for inspiration, with the Pumas securing their first ever victory over the All Blacks last November.
The coach said his defence had played well in the last two games, despite the scorelines, and that the onus was on his team to improve their attacking play at Lang Park.
"I don't think it's the defence," he said. "Both games, I think the defence did really well.
"The problem with defending all the time against the All Blacks is they're going to finish scoring, so definitely it's more on the attack side of things.
"We lost seven attacking balls and we didn't have many. When you lose it in the first two phases, that's not good enough. So it's definitely one of the focuses this week."
Ledesma is dealing with a lengthy injury list and has shifted Santiago Carreras from full-back to fly-half after Nicolas Sanchez limped off with an ankle injury last week.
Carreras missed that Test due to injury but returns in the number 10 shirt and Ledesma is backing the 23-year-old to have an impact for a Pumas side that has yet to win in their three games in the competition so far this season.
"When he was young, he used to play number 10 for many years, then he changed when he was selected for the Under 20s and he started playing as full-back," said Ledesma.
"But he's a natural in that position and he looks dangerous with the ball, really confident. He has a good right foot.
"It's been a while already that we wanted to put him in that position and we have the opportunity to do it this game.
"Obviously, it's not the easiest game to do it but he's really confident and we are really confident that he's going to deliver."
Argentina: 15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Lucio Cinti, 12 Santiago Chocobares, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou; 1 Facundo Gigena, 2 Julian Montoya, 3 Santiago Medrano, 4 Matias Alemanno, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 7 Marcos Kremer, 8 Pablo Matera.
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Carlos Muzzio, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Gonzalo Garcia, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Matias Moroni.
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 George Bridge, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 TJ Perenara; 1 Joe Moody, 2 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 5 Tupou Vaa'i, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 7 Ardie Savea (c), 8 Hoskins Sotutu.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 George Bower, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Luke Jacobson, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Braydon Ennor.