England coach Stuart Lancaster aims to rewrite history in Argentina
Agence France-Presse in Salta, Argentina
Stuart Lancaster's England are bidding to rewrite history when their two-test series against Argentina starts in Salta today.
No England side have ever won two tests in Argentina and the last side to triumph in a series were the one led by Bill Beaumont in 1981, who won one international and drew another.
Lancaster has brought an inexperienced side to South America, with nine players picked in the original British and Irish Lions tour party and others such as Chris Ashton, Chris Robshaw, Brad Barritt and Danny Care given the summer off.
Lancaster's starting line-up boasts just 123 caps compared with the 237 won by the Pumas but the head coach is building for the 2015 World Cup and insists his youngsters will gain invaluable experience from today's test and the second in Buenos Aires a week later.
"It is a big challenge but also a fantastic opportunity," Lancaster said at the team hotel in Salta. "It is the perfect challenge we want for this group of players. It will be test match rugby and the intensity will be higher than some of the players have played in before.
"The speed of thought and deed, the passion of the occasion and dealing with the passion and emotion of it all will be critical and we need to make sure we are on the edge but not over the edge.
"They have got experience and players who have been in and around their squad for a long time. We are expecting a similarity to how they will approach the game as they did in the autumn internationals and the Rugby Championship, where they were very competitive and beat Wales at the Millennium Stadium."