New Zealand and Argentina will square off at Buenos Aires’ Estadio Vélez Sarsfield on Saturday for each side’s Rugby Championship opener.
The match begins at 2:05 p.m. ET. It won’t be on regular TV in the United States, but you can watch New Zealand vs Argentina Rugby on ESPN+, the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of every Rugby Championship 2019 match, other live sports, all the 30-for-30 documentaries and additional original content for $4.99 per month.
You can sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the All Blacks vs Argentina on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
New Zealand vs Argentina Rugby Championship Preview
With an eye toward the Bledisloe Cup, in August, and the World Cup, which opens in September, the heavily favored All Blacks will carry five uncapped players into the tilt: Sevu Reece, Atu Moli, Josh Ioane, Luke Jacobson, and Braydon Ennor.
Head coach Steven Hansen also opted not to bring to Argentina any Crusaders, who bested Argentine side Jaguares 19-3 on July 6 for their third consecutive Super Rugby title.
“Apart from what we are doing on Saturday, there are players here who are the future, no doubt about it,” Hansen said, according to the New Zealand Herald.
“Some with 10 or 15 caps might not be given another opportunity (before the World Cup) and some with none may well do.
“Whilst you’ve got to look at the here and now, you’ve got to take the future into consideration.
“That opportunity has been afforded to us because we haven’t selected Crusaders — we are looking to the World Cup but beyond that as well.”
Reece will start on the wing, the only debutant not assigned to the pine, backed up by Ennor. The pair was selected ahead of Rieko Iaone, a 22-year-old with 24 caps to his credit, and 24-year-old George Bridge, who debuted for the All Blacks against Japan in November.
“We know a lot about Rieko, that he is a very, very good test player,” Hansen said, per the Herald. “We need to find out about Sevu Reece and Braydon Ennor, along with some of the other selections we’ve made.
“We’re pretty comfortable with George’s ability; he’s been around as a player of some standard with the Crusaders for a while. He had a good week with us in Japan and played really well (after coming on at halftime in Tokyo last year).
“We didn’t know too much about Sevu as a rugby player but as the season has gone on he’s just got better and better as a player and a person.
“We need to find if Sevu is up to the next level, and find out about Braydon who plays midfield and wing.”
While the Crusaders won’t be represented, 25 Jaguares are on Argentina’s 30-man roster. Thirteen of them will start, along with Saracens prop Juan Figallo and Stade Francais fly-half Nicolás Sánchez, who scored 67 points in last year’s Rugby Championship to lead all participants.
“Our main aim is to give the guys the opportunity to express themselves in the best possible way,” Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma said, according to Rugby.com.au.
“In that sense, the guys who’ve come here with the recent (momentum) of the Jaguares are the priority.
“And then there’s guys who’ve come from abroad, they have to be physically ready to give their all against the All Blacks and bring their experience, so it’s a mixture of the two.
“But the (Jaguares) guys are already familiar with the system.”
Source: New feed