Preparations by Argentina to be ready for the start of the Rugby Championship in Australia have suffered another setback after three new cases of Covid-19 were detected at their training camp, among them Julian Montoya.

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Without a Test match since bowing out of the 2019 World Cup last October, rugby in Argentina has been struggling since the outbreak of the pandemic. 

The Jaguares have had their squad decimated following the suspension of Super Rugby, numerous players and their coach Gonzalo Quesada opting to find clubs in Europe and play there instead. 

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Now, it’s the turn of the Argentina Test squad to be hit hard, with Montoya, Sebastian Cancelliere and Domingo Miotti the latest players to arrive into sickbay.

It beings to more than a dozen the number of their players who have been affected by the virus. However, six players have been able to resume training and the UAR have stated: “33 players have already been able to resume training.”

Pumas coach Mario Ledesma tested positive last week for the virus, adding to doubts that Argentina will eventually be able to take their place in the Championship which will be held in Australia and starts on November 7. 

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“Since the beginning of the pandemic, participation in the Rugby Championship has been a priority for the Argentine Rugby Union,” said its president Marcelo Rodriguez last week after it was confirmed the tournament would go ahead in Australia and not in New Zealand and initially speculated. 

There were many days of uncertainty and of analysing different possibilities that did not put the players at risk. There was a very good conversation with our members from Sanzaar, so we are a little closer to achieving the most beautiful thing that rugby has: to see Los Pumas again on a field.”

Different alternatives are still being studied regarding the likely departure date for Argentina to fly out for the tournament. That research will take into account all the health security measures to be able to travel.

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