Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma has named a 45-strong squad for next month’s Rugby Championship in Australia, adding 13 players – including Racing hero Juan Imhoff – to the 32 who are currently in Uruguay preparing for a South American Nation match in Montevideo.

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The Pumas will head to Australia on October 4 and will be joined on October 19 by the European-based players chosen by Ledesma ahead of the opening match of the tournament versus South Africa on November 7 in Brisbane.  

On landing in Australia, the Argentine players will have to carry out a 14-day quarantine. They will initially be hosted in Sydney and will train under isolation protocol.

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Players based in Europe, as indicated in regulation nine of World Rugby, will be released by their respective clubs in order to travel and carry out the mandatory quarantine to be at the disposal of the Argentine coaching staff in time to face the Springboks. 

That contingent will include Racing’s Imhoff, the winger who scored the decisive try last weekend in the French club’s Champions Cup semi-final win over Saracens. He will now play in the final against Exeter on October 17 before linking up with the Pumas. The 32-year-old won the last of his 33 caps at the 2015 World Cup, so he will be looking to bridge a five-year gap between Test appearances.

Matias Moroni, who was initially going to be part of the list for the Rugby Championship, has suffered a sprain to the lateral ligament of his right knee and will not travel.

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The Argentine preparations were affected last month by outbreaks of the coronavirus in their camp but Ledesma will hope the issue is now under control as he looks to get his squad back into action for the first time since they were eliminated at the pool stages of last year’s World Cup in Japan. 

Argentina finished bottom of the table in the shortened three-round Rugby Championship in 2019, losing all three of their matches prior to the finals in the Far East.   

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