The Pumas cannot afford another slip if they are to qualify for the quarter-finals, all too aware that Scotland, whom they meet in Wellington in nine days’ time, are unbeaten after two matches.
Argentina are without playmaker, Felipe Contepomi, who has bruised ribs as well as centre, Gonzalo Tiesi, who has been forced to quit the World Cup with a knee injury following a heavy tackle from England’s Courtney Lawes.
Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe takes over the captaincy in Contepomi’s absence while Santiago Fernandez is switched from centre to fly-half. Marcelo Bosch, who impressed when coming on as a replacement last weekend against England, slots in at outside centre.
“Felipe will be missed,” said Fernandez Lobbe. “He is our star, the leader and the captain who can make a difference. But we believe we have a strong squad.”
This Rugby World Cup game is unlikely to be a free-wheeling affair with both sides renowned for the quality of their forward play.
“They have a really good pack as we saw against Scotland,” said Lobbe. “We will put our bodies on the line and our hearts on the pitch.”
Romania make three changes from the side that ran Scotland so close before two late tries saw Andy Robinson’s side home, 34-24.
Argentina: L González; G Camacho, M Rodríguez, M Bosch, H Agulla; S Fernández, N Vergallo; JMF Lobbe, JM Leguizamón, JF Cabello; P Albacete; M Carizza; J Figallo, M Ledesma, R Roncero. Replacements: A Creevy, M Scelzo, M Galarza, A Campos, A Lalanne, N Sánchez, JJ Imhoff.
Romania: I Dumitras; MV Lemnaru, CM Gal, C Gheara, I Cazan; TI Dimofte, F Surugiu; D Carpo, O Tonita, M Macovei; CC Petre, VN Ursache; Paulica Ion, Marius Tincu (capt), MA Lazar. Replacements: BZ Suman,. S Florea, V Poparlan, DG Ianus, VN Calafeteanu, MD Dumbrava FA Vlaicu.