The Melbourne Rebels have added a pair of Los Pumas to their squad just three weeks ahead of the Super Rugby AU kick-off.
Three-test prop Lucio Sordoni and lock Ignacio Calas have almost completed quarantine and will join the squad in the coming days in preparation of their season-opening clash against the Reds in Brisbane on February 26.
Sordoni, a 22-year-old tighthead, made his test debut against Ireland in 2018 and featured off the bench for Argentina in their second test against the All Blacks in Newcastle last year.
The youngster will call on that experience to compete for starting spots with the likes of Wallabies squad member Pone Fa’amausili and Cobus Eloff, who is also in quarantine after returning to Australia from South Africa.
Calas, meanwhile, is an uncapped 24-year-old who stands at 2.01m and has impressed in both the Jaguares and Los Pumas squads in recent times.
It’s in the second row where he will jostle with Wallabies call-up Trevor Hosea, Ross Haylett-Petty, returning Rebels lock Steve Cummins and rookie Josh Canham for starting roles.
Both Sordoni and Calas will add depth to the Melbourne’s tight five, with both players earning praise from Los Pumas head coach Mario Ledesma, according to Rebels boss Dave Wessels.
“We are very fortunate to have Ignacio and Lucio joining us,” Wessels said.
“We were all impressed with how Argentina played in their recent test matches and their enthusiasm and energy for the game.
“In our talks with Mario Ledesma, both of them seemed to be a good fit for us character-wise and they come from a great environment as Mario is a world-class forwards coach.”
In moving to Australia, Sordoni and Calas will join compatriots Tomas Cubelli, Dominigo Miotti, Tomas Lezana and Santiago Medrano, all of the Western Force, in the second edition of Super Rugby AU.
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