Nantes hosts an historic match on Saturday, regardless of the result, as it will be the first-ever meeting of two sides from South America at a Rugby World Cup.
The match may be an historic first, but the rivalry is nothing new. Chile and Argentina have faced one another across the halfway line of a rugby pitch 39 times in tests over 87 years - as well as in numerous uncapped matches.
Los Pumas’ head coach Michael Cheika has made 11 changes to his starting XV from the team that beat Samoa 19-10 in their last match, with Marcos Kremer, Guido Petti Pagadizabal, Eduardo Bello and Juan Martin González the only four players retaining their places in the run-on team. Nicolás Sánchez, meanwhile, will earn his 100th cap, becoming only the second Argentine to play a century of tests - after hooker Agustín Creevy.
FIXTURE: Argentina v Chile
GROUND: Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes (35,520)
KICK-OFF: 15:00 local time (GMT+2)
Past results are not on Chile’s side. Argentina have won every one of the two sides’ previous test meetings. But they haven’t played one another in a full international in the past nine years - though Chile warmed up for this tournament with two non-cap matches against an Argentina XV, winning one and losing one, as well as matches against Namibia and Uruguay that did have full test status.
The last time the teams met in a capped international, in Santiago nine years ago, Los Pumas captain Julián Montoya scored one of his side’s 11 tries and Sánchez contributed 23 points in a 73-12 victory that saw them lift that year’s tri-nation CONSUR Cup.
KEY TALKING POINT
Unable to live up to their favourites tag against England in the opening round of the tournament, Argentina have been playing catch-up ever since in their bid to reach the quarter-finals. They beat Samoa 19-10 last week in the first of what forwards coach Andrés Bordoy has publicly described as ‘three finals’. This match is the second, and then there’s a potentially crucial last pool game against Japan. Can the 2015 semi-finalists pull off a great qualification escape?
Nicolás Sánchez v Rodrigo Fernandez. It’s Argentina’s second most-capped player of all time, on his 100th outing, a player with all the experience in the world; up against a 27-year-old with a fraction of the experience - but who scored Chile’s first-ever Rugby World Cup points.
Agustín Creevy will equal Mario Ledesma as Argentina’s most capped Rugby World Cup player as he runs out for his 18th match at the tournament. At 38 years and 199 days, Creevy is the fourth oldest player to play a Rugby World Cup game, after Uruguay’s Diego Ormaechea (40 years, 26 days at RWC 1999), Namibia’s PJ van Lill (39 years, 297 days at RWC 2023), and Canada’s Spence McTavish (38 years, 278 days at RWC 1987).
Paul Williams (New Zealand). Williams has reached into his pocket for a yellow card five times in two Rugby World Cup matches in France, more than any other referee. But four of those cards were shown in Samoa’s 43-10 win over Chile in Bordeaux.
ARGENTINA Martín Bogado; Rodrigo Isgro, Lucio Cinti, Jeronimo de la Fuente (captain), Juan Imhoff; Nicolás Sánchez, Tomas Cubelli; Joel Sclavi, Agustín Creevy, Eduardo Bello; Guido Petti Pagadizabal, Pedro Rubiolo; Juan Martin Gonzalez, Marcos Kremer, Facundo Isa
Replacements: Ignacio Ruiz, Mayco Vivas, Francisco Gómez Kodela, Matias Alemanno, Joaquín Oviedo, Lautaro Bazan Velez, Santiago Carreras, Juan Cruz Mallia
CHILE Inaki Ayarza; Santiago Videla, Domingo Saavedra, Matias Garafulic, José Ignacio Larenas; Rodrigo Fernandez, Marcelo Torrealba; Javier Carrasco, Augusto Bohme, Matias Dittus; Santiago Pedrero, Javier Eissmann; Martín Sigren (captain), Clemente Saavedra, Raimundo Martínez
Replacements: Tomas Dussaillant, Salvador Lues, Esteban Inostroza, Augusto Sarmiento, Alfonso Escobar, Ignacio Silva, Nicolas Herreros, Francisco Urroz