PREVIEW: Jaguares v Chiefs

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Friday, March 18, 2016    Getty Images

Jaguares v Chiefs, Sunday 20 March, 10.40am (NZT), Buenos Aires

Despite racking up 58 points against the Kings last week, the Chiefs will have to contend with a demanding travel schedule and hostile crowd in Buenos Aires this week. After a win and a close loss against South African opponents, the Jaguares will be desperate to make their first home game a winning one against the Chiefs.

After three rounds, the wait is over as the Jaguares play their historic first home game at Jose Amalfitani Stadium in Buenos Aires. A sold-out crowd will pack Argentina’s most famous rugby stadium and provide a carnival-like atmosphere. If the Jaguares can turn the Buenos Aires stadium into a fortress then they could well progress through to the knockout stages of Super Rugby.

The Jaguares have been bolstered for this clash with the debuts of Pumas stars Juan Martin Hernandez and Juan Manuel Leguizamon. Hernandez is a world-class ball-playing second-five who is nicknamed ‘the Maradona of rugby’. At 6’3 and 105kgs, Juan Manuel Leguizamon is a powerhouse runner and recognised as one of the greatest Argentinian loose forwards of all time. Together, the two Juans are sure to help the Jaguares become a strong force. 

Coach Dave Rennie has elevated veteran hooker Hika Elliot to the starting line up to boost the experience up front. Elliot’s experience will be invaluable against a seasoned Jaguares front row and white-hot Buenos Aires crowd. The 89-cap Chiefs star will be looking to unleash his trademark running game in an intriguing head-to-head battle against Jaguares hooker Agustin Creevy.


The clash of the first-fives will go a long way to deciding this contest. In Nicolas Sancez, the Jaguares boast a steady all-round pivot who topped the point-scoring at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. On the Chiefs side, Aaron Cruden is returning to his best form and is a proven big match player. All though the two diminutive playmakers maybe the smallest players on the field – they will likely be the most influential.

Jaguares: 15: Joaquin Tuculet 14: Santiago Cordero 13: Jeronimo De La Fuente 12: Juan Martin Hernandez 11: Emiliano Boffelli 10: Nicolas Sanchez 9: Martin Landajo 8: Leonardo Senatore 7: Juan Manuel Leguizamon 6: Pablo Matera 5: Tomas Lavanini 4: Guido Petiti Pagadizaval 3: Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro 2: Agustin Creevy 1: Santiago Garcia Botta

Reserves: Julian Montoya, Roberto Tejerizo, Felipe Arregui, Matias Alemanno, Facundo Isa, Felipe Ezcurra, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Matias Moroni

Chiefs: 15: Damian McKenzie 14: Sam McNicol 13: Anton Lienert-Brown 12: Charlie Ngatai 11: James Lowe 10: Aaron Cruden 9: Tawera Kerr-Barlow 8: Michael Leitch 7: Sam Cane 6: Tom Sanders 5: Johan Bardoul 4: Michael Allardice 3: Hiroshi Yamashita 2: Hika Elliot 1: Mitchell Graham

Reserves: Rhys Marshall, Pauliasi Manu, Siate Tokolahi, Taleni Seu, Maama Vaipulu, Brad Weber, Seta Tamanivalu, Glen Fisiiahi