- England prepare to face Argentina in second QBE International
- Get all the stats, information and quotes that matter ahead of the game
Photo: Getty Images
England’s two summer victories in South America will count for little when Argentina come to Twickenham Stadium on Saturday. Two much-changed sides meet at the Home of England Rugby in vastly contrasting form.
Argentina have not beaten a top-tier side since last year and are preparing to run out under Daniel Hourcade's stewardship for the first time. Santiago Phelan's successor faces a daunting task against an England side buoyed by last weekend's 20-13 QBE International success against Australia.
Stuart Lancaster's charges may not have been at their fluent best during the Cook Cup triumph, but they showed an invaluable ability to grind out victory and showed themselves to be fully recovered from their momentum-sapping defeat in Cardiff in March. A result which stands as their only defeat in the last nine Tests.
With New Zealand next up for England on Saturday, November 16, Lancaster will be hoping for yet another triumph on home soil in order to instil even more belief into his side. From Hourcade and his visiting troops, it is difficult to know what to expect.
When? Saturday, November 9
Where? Twickenham Stadium
How to keep up with the action
- Live on Sky Sports 2 HD and 3D from 1.30pm
- Regular updates on BBC Five Live
- Live text commentary on the free RFU iPhone app (search iTunes for Official RFU)
- Live score updates from @Official_RFU on Twitter
- Match report, post-match interviews and highlights on RFU.com
England: 15. Mike Brown, 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Joel Tomkins, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Ben Foden, 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Lee Dickson; 8. Billy Vunipola, 7. Chris Robshaw (captain), 6. Tom Wood, 5. Courtney Lawes, 4. Joe Launchbury, 3. David Wilson, 2. Tom Youngs, 1. Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16. Tom Youngs, 17. Alex Corbisiero, 18. Dan Cole, 19. Geoff Parling, 20. Ben Morgan, 21. Danny Care, 22. Toby Flood, 23. Alex Goode.
Argentina: 15. Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 14. Horacio Agulla, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 12. Santiago Fernandez, 11. Juan Imhoff, 10. Nicolas Sanchez, 9. Tomas Cubelli; 1. Marcos Ayerza 2. Eusebio Guinazu, 3. Maximiliano Bustos, 4. Mariano Galarza, 5. Patricio Albacete, 6. Pablo Matera, 7. Julio Farias Cabello, 8. Juan Manuel Leguizamon (captain).
Replacements: 16. Santiago Iglesias Valdez, 17. Nahuel Lobo, 18. Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19. Manuel Carizza, 20. Benjamin Macome, 21. Martin Landajo, 22. Gonzalo Tiesi, 23. Santiago Cordero.
- June 2013 - Argentina 26-15 England, Buenos Aires
- June 2013 - Argentina 3-32 England, Salta
- September 2011 - England 13-9 Argentina, Dunedin
- November 2009 - England 16-9, Twickenham
- June 2009 - Argentina 24-22 England, Salta
Photo: Getty Images
The dark arts: England's behemoth front row has not been selected by accident. Lancaster's hand was forced to an extent, but his decision to bring in the scrummaging power of David Wilson, Joe Marler and Dylan Hartley hints at a desire to dominate up front.
Although Argentina are without the injured Juan Figallo, packing down remains one of the keystones of their game. Marcos Ayerza, Eusebio Guinazu and Maximiliano Bustos may not pack the same punch as some of the Argentina scrums of old, but they nevertheless promise to pose an almighty challenge.
Central tussle: Argentina's centre pairing of Marcelo Bosch and Santiago Fernandez boast almost 50 more caps than their England counterparts Billy Twelvetrees and Joel Tomkins. Muted for much of last weekend, the inexperienced England pair and will be looking to impose themselves from the off in only their second start together.
Though both players contributed to a sound defensive display, Twelvetrees in particular will look to show off the playmaking abilities that have earned him a place in the side. If he and Tomkins receive the right ball and can shake off the attentions of Bosch and Fernandez, England will be confident of firing.
Quotes from the camps
Mike Catt (England attacking skills coach): "It's key that we get our set piece right; the scrum went very well [against Australia] but I think if we can really get our line-out functioning and really move these guys around, they're big, physical men.
"They want us to get in a big arm-wrestle with them so we need to box a little bit smarter than we have done in the past. [We need] a lot of composure in attack, not to be frantic and not to panic in any way, shape or form. It's just about being clinical in what we've practised."
Photo: Getty Images
Daniel Hourcade (Argentina coach): "It is important to have experience in as many areas of the field as possible. We are building for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the younger players can learn from the more experienced ones.
"We are going to attack England more than we usually do. England played a tighter game against Australia, but will be more open against us."
Did you know?
- England have won five games in a row at Twickenham for the first time since 2003
- Matt Banahan scored the only try when Argentina last came to Twickenham four years ago
- England have won 13 of the 18 meetings, with Argentina recording four victories. The first meeting, in 1981, was drawn
- Substitute Dan Cole has started 39 of England's last 41 internationals and fellow replacement Toby Flood needs one point to reach 300 in Test rugby
- Argentina lost all six of their 2013 Rugby Championship fixtures and have not beaten a top-tier nation since Wales in November 2012