Argentina ran New Zealand close at Wembley before thrashing Georgia in Gloucester last week Getty

The 2015 Rugby World Cup moves to the King Power Stadium in Leicester this weekend as Argentina bid to move ahead of Pool C rivals Tonga in their quest to book a quarter-final berth for the third time in succession.

Where to watch

Argentina vs Tonga kicks off at 2:30pm BST on Sunday 4 October. Live coverage is available on ITV HD and BBC Radio Five Live.


With New Zealand maintaining their 28-year unbeaten opening phase record through three rounds of fixtures, there was never any real debate whatsoever as to who would advance from Pool C as winners. The All-Blacks have amassed 147 points and 18 tries in the 2015 competition to date, yet currently look nowhere near their vintage best.

Behind them, the situation as it stands looks a little closer - although that could well be subject to change after this encounter. Argentina were mostly excellent in defence against the reigning world champions at Wembley last month having clearly benefited from being added to the Rugby Championship in 2012 and found themselves initially rather stifled by Georgia in their last outing before taking advantage of Mamuka Gorgodze's yellow card and showcasing their attacking capabilities with seven tries in a 54-9 bonus-point rout.

Although they currently lie one place below Tonga, only lowly Namibia await the Pumas between now and the start of the quarter-finals while their opponents still have the challenge of New Zealand to come. In terms of team news, Daniel Hourcade has opted to try something new in midfield by pairing centres Jeronimo de la Fuente and Matias Moroni together for the very first time as he hands Marcelo Bosch of Saracens a rare afternoon off. Usual partner Juan Martin 'El Mago' Hernandez misses out with a groin injury that forced him off at Kingsholm.

Martin Landajo replaces Tomas Cubelli at scrum-half, while Joaquin Tuculet, Santiago Cordero, Juan Imhoff and Nicolas Sanchez keep their places. In the pack, Guido Petti and Tomas Lavanini start together in the second row and Pablo Matera and Leonardo Senatore also return.

Tonga, who famously beat France in 2011 but have still yet to escape the pool stage in six attempts, lost a good old-fashioned scrap against Georgia in their first match, but recovered from that disappointment by running in five tries - the most they have ever scored in a single World Cup contest - and wrapping up a deserved extra point against Namibia. They know they must beat Argentina to have a chance of reaching the last eight and head coach Mana Otai has responded by naming the oldest side in the competition's history.

Skipper Nili Latu is back at openside flanker, a move that sees Jack Ram drop out of the matchday squad altogether despite his brace at Sandy Park. There are two changes in the front row, where tighthead prop Sila Puafisi and hooker Aleki Lutui make way for London Irish's Halani 'Aulika and Elvis Taoine respectively. Tukulua Lokotui deputises at lock, while New Zealand-born Kurt Morath is favoured at fly-half and Fetu'u Vainikolo starts on the wing instead of David Halaifonua.

Nili Latu
Tonga captain Nili Latu returns to the starting XV to face Argentina in Leicester AFP


Argentina: 15. Tuculet, 14. Cordero, 13. Moroni, 12. De La Fuente, 11. Imhoff, 10. Sanchez, 9. Landajo, 8. Senatore, 7. Fernandez Lobbe, 6. Matera, 5. Lavanini, 4. Petti, 3. Herrera, 2. Creevy (c), 1. Ayerza

Replacements: 16. Montoya, 17. Noguera, 18. Orlandi, 19. Alemanno, 20. Leguizamon, 21. Cubelli, 22. Gonzalez Iglesias, 23. Agulla

Tonga: 15. Lilo, 14. Veainu, 13. Piutau, 12. Piukala, 11. Vainikolo, 10. Morath, 9. Takulua, 8. Ma'afu. 7. Latu (c), 6. Kalamafoni, 5. Tuineau, 4. Lokotui, 3. Aulika, 2. Taione, 1. Tonga'uiha

Replacements: 16. Lutui, 17. Taumalolo, 18. Puafisi, 19. Mafi, 20. Fonua, 21. Fisilau, 22. Fosita,
23. Halaifonua

What the coaches say

Daniel Hourcade: "I'm very happy as it was a great triumph for us (over Georgia). We knew it would be a big battle but we managed to overcome difficulties. The first half we gave away a lot of penalties but in the second half we showed how we wanted to play. Our strategy was to dominate in defence and the things we discussed worked out nicely and made a difference.

"Of course, they were one player down, and their captain at that and what he represents for the team, but we took advantage of those minutes. When he came back, we had the confidence in our game and we scored some good tries. You enjoy it when you want something and you get it. This team always tries to do what it has done in training and we did that against Georgia. We've improved getting quick ball to let us get opportunities and it's now bearing fruit. This team has players who are always keen to speak, and you've got to listen to them because they make good suggestions."

Mana Otai: "This was hugely important, not just the victory (against Namibia) but also to get the five points. After Georgia we keep saying the dream is still alive, and I guess gaining five points is another step forward to that. We've still got two more games to go and there could be a little bit of mathematics, getting the calculators out and working out the points. We have six points now and we won't be able to find out more until the weekend, but we'll go into it with an advantage points-wise and from there it's how we strategise for Argentina and the All Blacks."

Daniel Hourcade
Daniel Hourcade was pleased with his side's dominant second-half performance against Georgia in Gloucester. AFP

Other fixtures

Argentina vs Tonga is followed by Ireland's attempt to leapfrog France at the summit of Pool D against Italy at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.