Argentina head coach Michael Cheika said he and his players want to “have no regrets” once the final whistle goes on their Rugby World Cup semifinal with New Zealand today.
The 56-year-old Australian guided Australia to the 2015 final with victory over Argentina in the semifinals and now his task is to get the Pumas past the three-time champions.
Cheika said that team evidently wanted to inspire the country but even in defeat they could do so in the manner they carried themselves.
“It’s not easy,” he said at the press conference following the naming of the team on Wednesday.
“We want to inspire not just by our results but by our ambition, by our ability to get back up and overcome obstacles.
“To inspire is not about results, no, it’s about our behaviour in general, our ability to be ready to come back from difficult times and seizing our opportunities.
“There are not a lot of opportunities in life – us playing in a semifinal is even rarer and we want to have no regrets.” Cheika has handed a 50th cap to Facundo Isa for the semifinal.
The 30-year-old No 8 is one of seven players in the matchday 23 to have played in the Pumas 2015 World Cup semifinal defeat to Australia.
Head coach Michael Cheika, who was in charge of Australia when they beat the Pumas in 2015, has made just the one change to the starting XV from the one that surprised Wales in the quarterfinals.
The 56-year-old has selected Gonzalo Bertranou at scrum-half at the expense of Tomas Cubelli, who drops out of the 23 altogether.
Bertranou is one of six players in the 23 who featured in both of Argentina’s wins over New Zealand since the 2019 World Cup, in 2020 and 2022.
Cheika said there was no designated recipe for success against the All Blacks.
“You have to take the moments you are in the game and see them coming at you at different times,” said Cheika.
“In the game in 2020 there were things you could pinpoint. You can’t say that one game means we can do it as there are a lot of games where we haven’t.
“That moment has to be just a part of it.
“What we have done since then, all the success and failures.
“The other team are heavy favourites, everyone is expecting a New Zealand and South Africa final.” Argentina’s captain in 2015, hooker Agustin Creevy at 38 years and 219 days, will become the oldest player to appear in a World Cup semifinal if he comes on.
He will surpass South Africa’s Victor Matfield who was 38 years and 166 days against the All Blacks in 2015. – SuperSport.