Alex McLeod runs through all you need to know ahead of Sunday's fifth round Rugby Championship clash between the All Blacks and the Pumas.

Estadio José Amalfitani, Buenos Aires, 11:40am

The 26th test match between New Zealand and Argentina will take place this weekend at Estadio José Amalfitani to wrap up the penultimate round of the 2017 Rugby Championship.

It will be the eighth meeting between the two sides to be held in Buenos Aires since their first-ever match in 1985, with the 49,540-capacity stadium hosting the event for the fifth time.

Since that 33-20 win over the hosts 32 years ago, the All Blacks have maintained an undefeated record in the Argentine capital, winning six times and drawing 21-all during the All Blacks' two-test tour of the South American nation back in 1985.

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That draw is the only time the Pumas have not tasted defeat against the reigning Rugby Championship titleholders, who will claim their fifth crown in six seasons with a win on Sunday.

Only a brave few would put money against the All Blacks to not come away from Argentina with the Rugby Championship title in the bag, especially after their 57-0 dismantling of the Springboks in Albany a fortnight ago.

The All Blacks dominated the Springboks in Albany a fortnight ago. Photo / Photosport.
The All Blacks dominated the Springboks in Albany a fortnight ago. Photo / Photosport.

That demolition lifted the undefeated Kiwis to the summit of the Championship standings on 19 points, eight points clear of South Africa.

By contrast, the Pumas anchor the table as they sit in last place, yet to secure their first win of this year's competition, trailing the third-placed Wallabies by eight points.

The two teams last met three weeks ago at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth, where showcased rookie flanker Vaea Fifita stole the show with a display of raw power, pace, and athleticism in a 39-22 victory.

Vaea Fifita was a force to be reckoned with during the All Blacks' last test against Argentina. Photo / Photosport.
Vaea Fifita was a force to be reckoned with during the All Blacks' last test against Argentina. Photo / Photosport.

Although the mixture of travel and a hostile South American crowd should make this week's test a tougher assignment than in New Plymouth for Steve Hansen's men, history shows that the All Blacks tend to do slightly better in the away leg against the Pumas than in New Zealand.

Since 2012, the All Blacks have defeated the Pumas by an average scoreline of 34.6-13.4 in New Zealand, while away from home, they have extended that scoreline to 39.25-15, resulting in a winning margin increase of 3.05.

With confidence at a season-high in the wake of their thrashing of South Africa, combined with the motivation of clinching back-to-back Rugby Championship titles, don't be surprised to see the All Blacks continue this winning trend in Buenos Aires this weekend.

Line Ups:

Steve Hansen has made six changes to the starting line up from the team that obliterated the Springboks at QBE Stadium two weeks ago, with a further three changes being made on the bench.

A new locking duo has been named in the starting side, with Luke Romano and Scott Barrett taking the places of Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock, both of whom have been rested ahead of next week's clash against the South Africa in Cape Town.

This opens up a spot on the bench for Patrick Tuipulotu, who has overcome a turbulent season to make his first appearance for the national team in over 10 months.

Livewire loose forward Vaea Fifita returns to the starting side in place of the rested Liam Squire, while Matt Todd makes his first All Blacks appearance of the year following some outstanding showings for both Canterbury and the Crusaders in the Mitre 10 Cup and Super Rugby.

Matt Todd has been rewarded for his form at domestic level for the Crusaders and Canterbury. Photo / Photosport.
Matt Todd has been rewarded for his form at domestic level for the Crusaders and Canterbury. Photo / Photosport.

He takes the place of Sam Cane, who, like Retallick, Whitelock and Squire, has been given a week-long holiday.

Joining those men on a short break is Ryan Crotty, with his number 13 jersey being taken by Anton Lienert-Brown, who will pair up with Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield.

The final change in the starting XV comes on the right wing, with Waisake Naholo set to make his first test appearance since the second test against the British and Irish Lions in July.

Waisake Naholo is set to make his first ppearance for the All Blacks in nearly three months. Photo / Brett Phibbs.
Waisake Naholo is set to make his first ppearance for the All Blacks in nearly three months. Photo / Brett Phibbs.

He swaps places with the in-form Nehe Milner-Skudder.

On the bench, Ngani Laumape comes into the side in the number 22 jersey in place of Lima Sopoaga, who has remained in New Zealand for the birth of his first child.

22-year-old Crusaders and Tasman fullback David Havili will fill the number 23 jersey, and will make his test debut should he make his way onto the field at any point in the match.

David Havili will become All Black #1161 if he comes off the bench against Argentina this weekend. Photo / Photosport.
David Havili will become All Black #1161 if he comes off the bench against Argentina this weekend. Photo / Photosport.

Meanwhile, Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade has named a Pumas side that features four changes and two positional switches to the team that suffered a 45-20 defeat at the hands of Australia in Canberra two weeks ago.

Young lock Tomás Lavanini is named in the number 5 jersey, coming in as a straight swap for Matías Alemanno.

Veteran No. 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamón has been promoted to the starting XV in a loose forward re-shuffle which see Tomás Lezana switch to openside flanker, while Javier Ortega Desio is demoted to the bench.

Pumas veteran Juan Manuel Leguizamon returns to the starting XV for Argentina. Photo / Photosport.
Pumas veteran Juan Manuel Leguizamon returns to the starting XV for Argentina. Photo / Photosport.

In the backline, former Brumbies halfback Tomás Cubelli replaces Martin Landajo in the number 9 jersey, with the latter named on the bench after starting against the Wallabies.

Elsewhere, a series of changes have been made in the back three, with Jaguares star Joaquín Tuculet returning to the team at fullback.

This sees Emiliano Boffelli move to the left wing in place of former sevens speedster Ramiro Moyano, who drops out of the match day squad entirely.

On the bench, Ramiro Herrera takes one of the reserve prop spots ahead of Enrique Pieretto, while exciting duo Juan Martín Hernández and Santiago Cordero nab the number 22 and 23 jerseys off of Santiago González Iglesias and Manuel Montero.

Juan Martin Hernandez in action against the All Blacks in Hamilton last year. Photo / Photosport.
Juan Martin Hernandez in action against the All Blacks in Hamilton last year. Photo / Photosport.

All Blacks:

1. Kane Hames, 2. Dane Coles, 3. Nepo Laulala, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Scott Barrett, 6. Vaea Fifita, 7. Matt Todd, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Beauden Barrett, 11. Rieko Ioane, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 14. Waisake Naholo, 15. Damian McKenzie.

Reserves: 16. Codie Taylor, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19. Patrick Tuipulotu, 20. Ardie Savea, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Ngani Laumape, 23. David Havili.

Pumas: 1. Lucas Noguera Paz, 2. Agustin Creevy (c), 3. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 4. Guido Petti Pagadizábal, 5. Tomás Lavanini, 6. Pablo Matera, 7. Tomás Lezana, 8. Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 9. Tomás Cubelli, 10. Nicolás Sánchez, 11. Emiliano Boffelli, 12. Jerónimo de la Fuente, 13. Matías Orlando, 14. Matías Moroni, 15. Joaquín Tuculet.

Reserves: 16. Julián Montoya, 17. Santiago García Botta, 18. Ramiro Herrera, 19. Marcos Kremer, 20. Javier Ortega Desio, 21. Martín Landajo, 22. Juan Martín Hernández, 23. Santiago Cordero.

Odds:

The TAB have the All Blacks as immense favourites to emerge victorious from the match this weekend, as they are paying $1.06 for a victory in the Argentine capital.

The Pumas, on the other hand, are paying an inauspicious $8 for a first ever win over the Kiwis.

Wings Rieko Ioane and Waisake Naholo are joint favourites to score the first try of the test, with both men paying $7 to be the first players to cross the chalk.

All Blacks wing Rieko Ioane has scored seven tries in seven tests. Photo / Brett Phibbs.
All Blacks wing Rieko Ioane has scored seven tries in seven tests. Photo / Brett Phibbs.

Their opposites - Emiliano Boffelli and Matías Moroni - are both favourites to e the first players from Argentina to dot down first, both paying a much larger $21.

Interestingly, the TAB have listed every All Black in the match day squad except for Kane Hames, Nepo Laulala and Luke Romano as either more or just as likely to score before Boffelli and Moroni, illustrating how highly the All Blacks are considered as favourites to come away with a win.

How to follow:

The Herald will be live blogging the game, and Radio Sport will have live commentary. Sky TV will be showing the match live on Sky Sport 1 at 11:30am.

Springboks v Wallabies:

Seven hours before the All Blacks take on the Pumas in an attempt to retain the Rugby Championship title, the Springboks will be looking to keep their title hopes alive against the Wallabies at Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Wallabies midfielder Kurtley Beale takes on Springboks first-five Elton Jantjies. Photo / Photosport.
Wallabies midfielder Kurtley Beale takes on Springboks first-five Elton Jantjies. Photo / Photosport.

For the Australians, all hope of their second Rugby Championship crown in three years has diminished, but there is a slim glimmer of hope for the South Africans should they defeat Michael Cheika's men on Sunday morning (NZT).

Following their draw in Perth three weeks ago, the Mandela Challenge Plate is still up for grabs for either team, with Allister Coetzee's men heading into the encounter as favourites to reclaim the silverware for this first time since 2014.

Springboks: 1. Tendai Mtwarira, 2. Malcolm Marx, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 4. Eben Etzebeth (c), 5. Franco Mostert, 6. Siya Kolisi, 7. Francois Louw, 8. Uzair Casseim, 9. Ross Cronjé, 10. Elton Jantjies, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 12. Jan Serfontein, 13. Jesse Kriel, 14. Dillyn Lleyds, 15. Andries Coetzee.

Reserves: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Trevor Nyakane, 19. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20. Jean-Luc du Preez, 21. Rudy Paige, 22. Handré Pollard, 23. Damian de Allende

Wallabies: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 3. Sekope Kepu, 4. Izack Rodda, 5. Adam Coleman, 6. Jack Dempsey, 7. Micahel Hooper, 8. Sean McMahon, 9. Will Genia, 10. Bernard Foley, 11. Reece Hodge, 12. Kurtley Beale, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Marika Koroibete, 15. Israel Folau.

Reserves (one to be omitted): 16. Stephen Moore, 17. Tom Robertson, 18. Allan Alaalatoa, 19. Rob Simmons, 20. Lukhan Tui, 21. Ned Hanigan, 22. Nick Phipps, 23. Samu Kerevi, 24. Henry Speight.