Argentina fullback Martin Rodriguez believes home ground advantage will play a major role in Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test in Mendoza.
Rodriguez, who was selected at fullback ahead of the under-performing Lucas Amorosino, said the support the Pumas will receive in their first-ever home Rugby Championship Test against South Africa on Saturday will take them to new heights following their 27-6 loss in Cape Town last weekend.
"Playing at home is great because it gives you the opportunity to play in front of your family and friends. Fans always give us great support and will get to see the Springboks. The support is felt on the field and we hope to repay it with a win,” he said.
Rodriguez, who played centre in the friendly against Stade Francais in the lead up to the Rugby Championship, said he is relishing the opportunity to start against the Springboks.
"It's always nice to be in the team, although it is unfortunate that it’s at the expense of Lucas [Amorosino]. I'm eager to play, I will be in a position that I haven’t played in a long time, but I will do my best to serve the team.
"I was always aware that the positional change was possible. Although I’ve played more as a centre this year, one never forgets playing a certain position and I'm happy to be at fullback."
Rodriguez said the magnitude of last Saturday’s Test affected the newcomers. "It was a very tough match. Debut nerves always play a role but I think the team did a very good job. We were up for it physically, but made mistakes and committed to many penalties."
Rodriguez conceded that they face an uphill battle again this weekend but said they believe they can register their first-ever win over the Springboks.
“We know we have to play a perfect game to beat the Springboks, but we have a chance. We just have to click and hope everything goes according to plan."