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Two teams with two past semi-final exits with lofty ambitions to right-wrongs clash this weekend for a chance to compete in the final four of the 2023 edition of the Rugby World Cup.
Stade de Marseille will host this titanic clash of perennial Rugby World Cup competitors. One will advance their legacy and have the chance to make unprecedented history while the other will succumb to expectation and pressure and sink to a disappointing end.
Wales vs Argentina lineups and team news
This matchup features two nations with very different runs of form. While Wales have won four from four at Rugby World Cup 2023 and looked convincing while doing so, Michael Cheika’s Argentina have looked shaky and unsure even during their three wins from their four games. However, Los Pumas no doubt have the players and the belief to throw away the form guide and roll a Wales team expecting an easier fixture.
In typical Warren Gatland fashion, Warren Gatland has been extremely consistent and clear with his selections throughout the tournament with little to no tweaks to his strongest XV.
His only two changes this week come through injury with Gareth Anscombe and Taulupe Faletau picking up tournament-ending injuries in their last game versus Georgia, the former in the warm-up. Leicester Tiger’s Tommy Reffell comes into the starting team for Faletau, bringing Exeter Chief’s Christ Tshuinza onto the bench, while Scarlet’s Sam Costelow joins the replacements in Anscombe’s place.
- Gareth Thomas
- Ryan Elias
- Tomas Francis
- Will Rowlands
- Adam Beard
- Jac Morgan
- Tommy Reffell
- Aaron Wainwright
- Gareth Davies
- Dan Biggar
- Josh Adams
- Nick Tompkins
- George North
- Louis Rees-Zammit
- Liam Williams
16. Dewi Lake, 17, Corey Domachowski, 18. Dillon Lewis, 19. Daffyd Jenkins, 20. Christ Tshuinza, 21. Tomos Williams, 22. Sam Costelow, 23. Rio Dyer
Similarly to Gatland, Cheika has stuck true to his players and been consitent with his selection throughout Rugby World Cup 2023.
His only notable change to the 23 that beat Japan last week is the loss of his talisman and former captain, Pablo Matera, who picked a tournament-ending injury, his replacement is Toulon number eight, Facundo Isa.
- Thomas Gallo
- Julian Montoya
- Francisco Gomez Kodela
- Guido Petti
- Tomas Lavanini
- Juan Martin Gonzalez
- Marcos Kremer
- Facundo Isa
- Tomas Cubelli
- Santiago Carrerras
- Matteo Carrerras
- Santiago Chocobares
- Lucio Cinti
- Emiliano Boffelli
- Juan Cruz Mallia
16. Augustin Creevy, 17. Joel Scalvi, 18. Eduardo Bello, 19. Matias Alemanno, 20. Rodrigo Bruni, 21. Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22. Nicholas Sanchez, 23. Matias Moroni
Boffelli vs Biggar, who can keep their nerve?
As is often the case in test matches and in knockout rugby, this will be a close and tense affair and will probably be decided by the kicking tee and by on the speedsters out wide.
Both teams have astute goalkickers in Boffelli and Biggar, who are accustomed with winning matches with their boot. It could be a case not of who can score the most points but whoever misses first loses as two of the most elite goalkickers in the world go head to head. whoever has a calmer, cooler brain come the big moments, may just win this game for their team.
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