Preview: Argentina v Georgia

After a 2-0 series loss on home soil to a depleted England side, victory over Georgia is vital to the Pumas' morale at Estádio 23 de Agosto.

Last week's defeat was their ninth in their last 10 international games which, albeit against Rugby Championship and Six Nations outfits, is a dismal record that desperately needs to improve. Tackling Georgia at home is therefore a perfect chance to lift their supporters' spirits.

It's not just the Test scene that has struggled for Argentina as their Super Rugby side, the Jaguares, have once again not put themselves into the play-off reckoning as they sit on five wins from 12 games, well off the pace being set by the Lions in their Africa 2 conference.

They have made six personnel changes to their starting line-up as up front Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro comes in at loosehead, Guido Petti in the second-row and there is a new back-row of Tomás Lezana, Rodrigo Báez and Leonardo Senatore as Daniel Hourcade freshens his forwards.

In the backs changes are also found as Matías Moroni returns on the wing, with Ramiro Moyano wearing 11 in place of Emiliano Boffelli.

Georgia meanwhile have beaten Canada and the USA in recent games and had they not lost 8-7 to Romania in March they could be on a seven-match winning run heading into this fixture. In contrast to Argentina though, their international opponents haven't been of the same quality.

Rugby is however flourishing in the nation, especially after a successful U20 Championship that was well attended, so this is an excellent opportunity for the senior XV to show their worth this week as the ongoing debate surrounding their inclusion in top tier competition rumbles on.

The boot of Merab Kvirikashvili will of course be critical to their hopes of victory but it is going to be a difficult ask against an Argentina outfit reeling from those negatives to England. Another defeat would be unimaginable and would certainly pile further pressure on Hourcade.

Previous results:

2015: Argentina won 54-9 in Gloucester
2013: Argentina won 29-18 in San Juan
2011: Argentina won 25-7 in Palmerston North
2007: Argentina won 33-3 in Lyon

Prediction: Home win for us, Argentina by 15.

The teams:

Argentina: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Moroni, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Rodrigo Báez, 6 Tomás Lezana, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Enrique Pieretto, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Pablo Matera, 20 Benjamin Macome, 21 Gonzalo Bertanou, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Germán Schulz

Georgia: 15 Merab Kvirikashvili, 14 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 13 Davit Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze, 11 Alexander Todua, 10 Lasha Khmaladze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Beka Bitsadze, 7 Viktor Kolelishvili, 6 Lasha Lomidze, 5 Konstantin Mikautadze, 4 Giorgi Nemsadze, 3 Soso Bekoshvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Tornike Mataradze, 18 Anton Peikrishvili, 19 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 20 Otar Giorgadze, 21 Giorgi Begadze, 22 Lasha Malaguradze, 23 Soso Matiashvili

Date: Saturday, June 24
Venue: Estádio 23 de Agosto, Jujuy
Kick-off: 16:15 local (19:15 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Egon Seconds (South Africa)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)