"I'm delighted Gareth has given Ian Evans and Alun Wyn Jones their chance to shine in the first Test because he will learn more about their long term potential on Sunday than from any other non-tournament international," said Pickering. "Take it from me, playing in Argentina is hugely testing and incredibly physical. Ian and Alun have superbly developed well over the season, but they will find themselves in an environment the like of which they have never been in before.
"This summer's two-Test tour is all about development and giving Gareth the chance to uncover a few more candidates for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He is obviously keen to test our talented youngsters because not only has he given the two Osprey forwards their chance, but he has picked three uncapped players on the bench.
"When we went to Argentina in 1999 we were a well developed side that was preparing for the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Wales. That was not a developmental tour in any shape or form - it was about fine tuning the team for the Rugby World Cup.
"We played all our big guns, and it was just as well that we did. We were 23-0 down in the first Test and then had to come through a huge punch up in the second Test to win the series."
Pickering, currently in San Francisco on IRB duty, believes the experience of playing the Pumas this summer will prove a real eye-opener for Jenkins and his squad.
Stade Francais Paris scrum half Agustin Pichot, Sale Sharks lock Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe and Leinster stand off Felipe Contepomi are the survivors from that 1999 tour, although the Pumas have a wealth of other experienced players to call on.
"They love their scrummaging, mauling and line-out play and they are pretty ruthless up front," said Pickering. "These next two weekends are going to be real tests of character for the Welsh players. It would be great to see them win, but the most important thing is that all the players learn from the experience.
"When you consider that Gareth wasn't able to take 21 players on this tour because of injuries, many of them seasoned internationals and Lions, shows that our international player base is broadening.
"Let's hope that we can addd the names of players like Ian Evans and Alun Wyn Jones to the list of candidates for the 2007 Rugby World Cup after this tour."