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Pumas looking to make friends

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The Argentina players are aiming to gain new support ahead of the World Cup as they play their final warm-up fixture at Welford Road on Saturday, September 5.The Tigers supporters’ Player of the Year Marcos Ayerza is in his 10th year at the club and will be joined by in the Los Pumas squad by a previous winner Horacio Agulla and former Tigers players Lucas Amorosino and Pablo Matera.   It could be just the platform to boost their support before the World Cup, especially as they play two of their fixtures in the city.   Newcastle Falcons centre Juan Pablo Socino, Saracens centre Marcelo Bosch and lock Mariano Galarza of Gloucester are the other English-based players included in the Pumas squad by head coach Daniel Hourcade.   “This game against Leicester Tigers will help us get some affinity with the local people. Let’s hope they support us at the World Cup,” said Hourcade.   Argentina visited Welford Road in the build-up to the 2007 World Cup, where they finished third under Marcelo Loffreda, and will be looking to make a big impression again this year.   “This will be my first time in Leicester,” Hourcade added. “I’ve heard many things about the city and it will be a nice experience, especially because of what the game means for Marcos. It will be a special day for him.”   Argentina kick off their World Cup campaign against New Zealand on September 20 at Wembley Stadium before also facing Georgia, Tonga and Namibia in the pool stages.   “New Zealand are the world champions and always a favourite,” Hourcade said. “I think it will be a great World Cup and there is no doubt that the eight teams that pass on to the quarter-finals will all be strong competitors.”   Tickets for the Marcos Ayerza Testimonial Challenge and the return of international opposition to Welford Road are available now, price £25 adult seating, £10 junior, £60 family (2 adults, 2 juniors), or £22/£8/£52 terrace.   Purchase in person at the Tigers Club Store at Welford Road (9am-5pm Monday-Saturday), phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) (8.30am-5pm Monday-Saturday) or click here to book online.   Please note the testimonial fixture is not included in Tigers season tickets.   Argentina squad Horacio Agulla, Matías Alemanno, Marcos Ayerza, Marcelo Bosch, Santiago Cordero, Agustín Creevy, Tomás Cubelli, Jerónimo de la Fuente, Matías Díaz, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, Lucas González Amorosino, Santiago González Iglesias, Juan Martín Hernández, Ramiro Herrera, Juan Imhoff, Facundo Isa, Martín Landajo, Tomás Lavanini, Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Pablo Matera, Julián Montoya, Matías Moroni, Lucas Noguera, Javier Ortega Desio, Guido Petti Pagadizabal, Nicolás Sánchez, Leonardo Senatore, Juan Pablo Socino, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Joaquín Tuculet, Mariano Galarza.