First semi-final lines with changes

First semi-final lines with changes

Argentina and New Zealand will face each other on Friday (9pm), at the Stade de France, in the Rugby World Cup semi-final. The line-up was revealed on Wednesday, with one change for the Pumas and two for the All Blacks.

The first Rugby World Cup finalist will be known on Friday. On Wednesday, Argentina and New Zealand revealed their lineups for this match, two days before the match (kick-off at 9 p.m., at Stade de France). The Pumas have made one change since the quarter-finals, compared to two for the All Blacks.

Gonzalo Bertrano returns

Scrum-half Gonzalo Bertrano, who was replaced by Tomas Cubelli against Wales in the previous round, returns. “We are lucky to have three strikers who are improving from week to week,” Pumas coach Michael Cheika explained during a press conference at Roland Garros. He added: “Gonzalo (Bertrano) is the person who best matches the type of game we want to play.” “We are maintaining the same basis. This is not a change, but a continuation of what happened last week.”

Copelli's start in the win over the Welsh (29-17) on Saturday in Marseille was a surprise as he had only featured once until then, in a modified line-up against Chile. Bertrano, who has been involved in high-stakes matches, returns to the joint alongside Santiago Carreras, who was once again favored in the opener over veteran Nicolas Sanchez, who had the decisive interception last weekend.

Toulouse's three-quarter center Santiago Chocobaris, who was launched in the 27th minute at the Stade Vélodrome, will hold his place well, as will Toulon's third midfielder Facundo Isa. If he plays on Friday, hooker Agustín Creevy will, at 38 years and 219 days, become the oldest player to appear in a World Cup semi-final. Seven of the 23 Puma players on the scoresheet have already tasted a World Cup quarter-final, in 2015 against Australia, and six were involved in their most recent successes over the All Blacks in 2020 and 2022.

Argentine composition:

Malia – Bovelli, Sinti, Chocobaris, M. Carreras – (o) s. Carreras, (m) Bertrano – Kramer, Issa, Gonzalez – Lavagnini, Betty – Gomez Kudela, Montoya (cap), Gallo.

Subs: Crevi, Sclavi, Bello, Alemanno, Bruni, Bazán Velez, Sanchez, Morrone

Two changes for New Zealand

New Zealand winger Mark Tilia, who was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Ireland, returns to the All Blacks' starting XV. New Zealand national team coach Ian Foster made another change to the team that will compete with the Pumas in Saint-Denis, as Sam Whitlock replaced Brody Retallick, who was linked to Scott Barrett in the second row. As for the rest Foster had confidence in the winners of the quarter against Ireland (28-24).

Tilia, who made three tries in two matches during the French World Cup, was dismissed from the squad during the last match for not respecting a curfew imposed by his staff during the week. He was replaced by Leicester Fainga'anuku, played four matches including three as a starter and scored five tries, including one in the quarter against Ireland.

Fainga'anuku, who will be playing for Toulon at the end of the World Cup, is among the 23 players, as is hooker Dan Coles, who came on against Ireland but was replaced on the bench by Samsoni Taukeahu in the semi-final. Samuel Whitlock, the 2011 and 2015 world champion, who will celebrate his 152nd cap at the Stade de France, could still become the only player to claim three world titles if the All Blacks beat Argentina on Friday and win the next final on October 28. Still at the Stade de France.

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New Zealand composition:

B. Barrett – Jordan, Ioane, J. Barrett, Telea, – (o) Mo'unga, (m) Smith – Cane (cap.), Savea, Frizell – S. Barrett, Whitelock – Lomax, Taylor, De Groot

Subs: Taukei'aho, Williams, Newell, Retallick, Papali'i, Christie, McKenzie, Lienert-Brown

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