Wales v Argentina - Autumn international match preview
Last Updated: 09/11/12 11:33am
Wales interim head coach Rob Howley is delighted with the nation's strength in depth ahead of their Autumn international opener against Argentina on Saturday.
It is sixth verses eighth in the world at the Millennium Stadium and the Pumas, coming off their first campaign in the Rugby Championship, will be no push-overs.
Howley is without the likes of Dan Lydiate and Lions prop Adam Jones due to injury, however, but he is pleased as the team still boasts players with a wealth of Grand Slam experience.
"One or two injuries have forced our hand in certain areas in terms of selection but the fact that we are still able to field a side packed with Grand Slam experience shows that we have been able to develop some depth in recent years," he said.
Captain Sam Warburton is keen for Wales to make a positive start to their autumn internationals with Samoa, New Zealand and Australia all to play in Cardiff in the coming weeks.
"The great thing about the year-end Tests is that you're playing the best teams in the world back-to-back at the Millennium Stadium," said Warburton.
"Argentina's involvement in the Rugby Championship will have done them so much good and their standard of rugby will have gone through the roof from playing in that intensity.
"We need to click from the off as a good win could set up a good campaign, and we've given ourselves every possible chance by having a good build-up."
Argentina have recalled vastly experienced former fly-halves Felipe Contepomi and Juan Martin Hernandez and captain Juan Martin Fernandez is excited about the challenge that faces them at the Millennium Stadium.
"To be playing against the best three teams in the world was great competition for us," he said. "We have tried to take advantage of that and hopefully use all the experience we have gained to keep improving.
"But we know it is going to be a tough challenge at the Millennium Stadium which is a great place to play rugby. Wales are full of great players who have been together for a long time and we saw how close they came to Australia in June."
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (capt), 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Paul James, 19 Rob McCusker, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 James Hook, 23 Liam Williams
Argentina: 15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Felipe Contepomi, 11 Juan Jose Imhoff, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (capt), 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Leonardo Senatore, 5 Julio Farias Cabello, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Bruno Postiglioni, 18 Juan Gomez, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Nicolas Vergallo, 22 Horacio Agulla, 23 Joaquin Tuculet