Wales vs Argentina: Fly-half Hook braced for tough test

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James Hook is convinced a win against the physical Argentineans on Saturday will stand them in good stead for their game against South Africa in next month’s Rugby World Cup.

Wales face South Africa in their opening World Cup game on September 11 in New Zealand in what could be a decisive game in deciding who will top Pool D.

However, before then Wales face a tough test against Argentina in their final warm-up game, and Hook believes Warren Gatland’s men are in a perfect position to build on their gritty 19-9 win over England last week.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “We have played South Africa a lot of times and come close to winning.

“We know they have a massive pack that comes directly at you.

“We’ve got the players to win big games, though, and the boys will definitely go into Saturday’s match against Argentina with a lot of confidence.

“If we can get two big wins under our belt going into the South Africa game, it would be massive for us.”

Wales haven’t played Argentina since 2009 when they won 33-16. However, most of their previous 11 encounters have been incredibly close, with the biggest winning margin being Argentina’s 45-27 victory in 2006.

Gatland has also made wholesale changes to the team that beat England and, with Gethin Jenkins, Ryan Jones and captain Matthew Rees missing from the pack, Wales could get muscled out of the game.

If the Wales defence is as good as it was against England, Argentina’s scoring chances will be limited, so backing the South Americans to win by 6-10 points at 12/1 looks a bet well worth taking on.

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