Salem Radio Network News Saturday, December 9, 2023


Rugby-Uruguay make seven changes for All Blacks clash

LYON, France (Reuters) – Uruguay coach Esteban Meneses has made seven changes to his starting lineup for their final World Cup clash against New Zealand, largely reverting to the side that impressed against France and Italy in their first two games.

Los Teros finally achieved their goal of a Pool A win with a 36-26 victory over Namibia in Lyon last week but Meneses has dropped two of his try scorers from that match for Uruguay’s first meeting with the All Blacks on Thursday.

Baltazar Amaya scored two tries against the Africans but makes way for veteran Rodrigo Silva at fullback, while Gaston Mieres, playing his third World Cup, returns on the right wing in place of Bautista Basso.

Meneses also restored Tomas Inciarte to the centres alongside skipper Andres Vilaseca and made two changes to his back row.

Manuel Diana returns at number eight and Lucas Bianchi makes his first start of the tournament at openside flanker in place of Santiago Civetta, who drops to the bench.

Manuel Ardao, who rounds out the back row at blindside flanker, has been the most effective jackal so far at the tournament with six steals at the breakdown.

Uruguay troubled France before losing 27-12 and led Italy 17-7 at halftime before going down 38-17.

Uruguay team:

15-Rodrigo Silva, 14-Gaston Mieres, 13-Tomas Inciarte, 12-Andres Vilaseca (captain), 11-Nicolas Freitas, 10-Felipe Etcheverry, 9-Santiago Arata, 8-Manuel Diana, 7-Lucas Bianchi, 6-Manuel Ardao, 5-Manuel Leindekar, 4-Ignacio Dotti, 3-Diego Arbelo, 2-German Kessler, 1-Mateo Sanguinetti.

Replacements: 16-Guillermo Pujadas, 17-Matias Benitez, 18-Ignacio Peculo, 19-Juan Manuel Rodriguez, 20-Santiago Civetta, 21-Agustin Ormaechea, 22-Felipe Berchesi, 23-Juan Manuel Alonso

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ken Ferris)


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