Saturday’s opening round of the Rugby Championship will mark the 29th test match between Argentina and New Zealand, with Los Pumas yet to record a single win.
However there is a case to be argued that this could be the biggest opportunity for Argentina to break this unwanted record on the back of Jaguares’ impressive Super Rugby season.
In fact, 13 of the Jaguares’ starting XV that lined up against the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final have been selected to play the All Blacks, while just one member of the victorious Christchurch side will feature for New Zealand.
This gives the Argentinians a head start in terms of squad cohesion despite the ‘foundation camps’ put on by the All Blacks throughout the year.
Furthermore the decision by New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen to rest Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock and a further six Crusaders players may be seen as a brave one, especially given that just six members of his squad for Saturday managed to beat the Jaguares throughout the entire Super Rugby season.
But let’s not get too carried away, the All Blacks are certainly still favourites with a dangerous-looking back line ready to take advantage of the sensational form of Sevu Reece and Ngani Laumape as well as the return on Ben Smith at full back.
Either way with Argentina also holding home advantage, Saturday is probably the biggest opportunity Los Pumas have ever had to record a win over New Zealand.
15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Matias Moroni, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Tomas Cubelli; 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera (captain), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 23 Joaquin Tuculet
15 Ben Smith, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Jordie Barrett, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ofa Tuungafasi
Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Luke Jacobson, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Braydon Ennor