Rugby Argentina facing Christchurch demons against All Blacks

Agustin Creevy openly admitted their winning chances are slim, but he was optimistic ahead of the Pumas' visit to the All Blacks.

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Argentina captain Agustin Creevy conceded only "the best game in our life" will see them emerge with the points in their Rugby Championship opener against the All Blacks on Friday.

The Pumas face the three-time defending champions in their four-nation series opener in Christchurch, with the visitors not expected to break their historical drought against the Kiwis - who have never lost to their South American opponents in 21 Tests.

The most recent time Argentina were in Christchurch, New Zealand dished up a 67-19 shellacking in 2001.

However, under the reign of coach Daniel Hourcade, Argentina have fallen to the All Blacks by margins of 19 and 21 points in much more valiant defeats.

Creevy said despite no joy on the scoreboard, he felt his charges were closing in on the world champions.

"We've never felt like we're close to winning a game [against the All Blacks] as we did in the other games like Australia and South Africa," Creevy said.

"But we know we are getting closer to them and we are learning about playing against them and I think one time the possibility of winning will come.

"No, [the All Blacks have] no weakness, but if we play all together with heart I think we can win, but we need to give the best game in our life."

Creevy said scars remain of Argentina's last visit to Christchurch.

"I remember that," Creevy said.

"Even though I was young and not playing professional rugby I remember a lot that game but I remember watching it on TV.

"I hope tomorrow we can get a better result and win the game."

New Zealand kicked off their 2015 season with a historic win over Samoa in July, with the All Blacks only crossing once in a 25-16 result.

Coach Steve Hansen conceded their win over Samoa was "scrappy", and has made four changes to his starting XV.

Into the run-on side comes lock Brodie Retallick, who was a replacement in Samoa, half-back TJ Perenara, winger Ma'a Nonu and debutant winger Waisake Naholo.

Out of the XV are Samuel Whitelock and George Moala, while Andy Ellis and Ryan Crotty retained their spots in the 23 but were relegated to the bench.

Tony Woodcock will earn his 100th international cap in the fixture.

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