Argentina want to continue to grow

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    29 Aug 2018     Getty Images

Argentina No.8 Javier Ortega Desio said the side had worked hard before their Test against South Africa and had their reward with their win. However, there was still much about their play that needed to be polished.


"We had several opportunities that we did not take advantage of and that would have given us greater reward and made the outcome easier, but we won and that is what we were looking for," he said.

"We are a team with the talent and the capacity to succeed and that's why confidence grows when we do what we say we're going to do."

Without putting in the effort there was little reward.

"If we are not prepared to do everything we can to prepare for the challenges against each of the other sides it is difficult for us.

"Before Saturday we put in a lot of work on how we wanted to play the game.

"Now the next thing we have to do is face the All Blacks, who are the best team in the world, and we have to start from this position. We can't lower our level of expectation because we had made a mark and we don't want to drop below it," he said.

The win over South Africa had been satisfying because Argentina had prepared well and solved problems on the field against a respected opponent.

Argentine coach Mario Ledesma has made a surprise call-up for the touring side. Leicester Tigers prop Gaston Cortes, 32, has been selected. Cortes previously played for the Argentine B team before switching to England where he played more than 100 games for Bath. He moved to Leicester this year.

"The Pumas manager called me and told me Mario Ledesma had me in mind for the side and wanted to call me. I checked if the club would give me permission because I had no idea if they would, and they immediately told me I could go.

"It was very surprising, I did not expect it," Cortes told the Argentine Rugby website.

"I'm already studying the game plan. I want to be prepared as well as possible," he said.

Cortes said he watched the first two games of the Championship and said there had been a big change from one game to the other. In their win over South Africa at the weekend the pack had provided a good platform for the backs to succeed.

But he is also aware of the different style of play he can expect.

"Rugby in England is more physical and somewhat slower than what is played in the Southern Hemisphere, because of the weather and because it is played differently.

"You can tell the different between a Premiership match and what happens in the Super Rugby or the Rugby Championship, where what matters most is what happens in the loose game.

"If I am selected to play, I know I'm going to have to run and run. The games of this tour are very hard and without any margin for mistakes," he said.

As well as Cortes, the side will be boosted by the return from injury of Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Matias Orlando and Julian Montoya.

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