The Daily Telegraph - Business

Pivac warns Wales of ‘serious’ Argentina threat

- Andrew Baldock

Wayne Pivac expects Wales to be “tested across the board” against Argentina in Cardiff on Saturday.

The Six Nations champions warmed up for Tests on successive weekends against the Pumas by scoring 10 tries in a 68-12 rout of Canada at the Principali­ty Stadium.

Pivac handed internatio­nal debuts to five players, including two-try substitute Taine Basham, but he also saw full-back Leigh Halfpenny carried off on his 100th Test match appearance for Wales and the British and Irish Lions.

Halfpenny suffered a knee injury and he will undergo a scan to gauge the full extent of the damage, with the 32-year-old seemingly set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Wales have won their past four Tests against Argentina, but can expect a major challenge after the Pumas beat New Zealand last year and drew twice with Australia.

“We needed a game,” said Pivac, the Wales head coach. “To go in cold against a side that has drawn twice against Australia and beaten the All Blacks, you have to respect that team. They are a serious tier-one nation now, and for this young team to go up against a side like that is exactly what we need. It will show them how much hard work they need to put in if they want to play at this level on a regular basis.

“We will need to step it up across our whole game. It [Canada’s performanc­e] has highlighte­d a few things that we will go away and work on. We will be tested across the board.”

In the expected absence of Halfpenny, Hallam Amos, Ioan Lloyd and Owen Lane could all be in the mix to replace him, along with Jonah Holmes, who moved from wing to full-back and scored two tries against Canada.

Wales are without 10 players on Lions duty, but there were a number of impressive displays, highlighte­d by Basham, Holmes and the secondrow pairing of Ben Carter and Will Rowlands. Carter called the lineouts on his Wales debut, while Rowlands was a commanding presence before making way for second-half replacemen­t Josh Turnbull.

 ??  ?? Injury concern: Leigh Halfpenny may face a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury on Saturday
Injury concern: Leigh Halfpenny may face a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury on Saturday

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