Argentina are set to play in the South American Championship as preparation for their Rugby Championship campaign in New Zealand later this year.
A report from Argentine media outlet Rosario3 claims the South American competition, known since 2018 as the South American Six Nations, will be played in Uruguay over the course of 15 days in September.
Next month’s shortened iteration of the tournament will see Los Pumas pitted against the hosts, who shocked at last year’s World Cup to defeat Fiji, as well as Brazil and Chile – both of whom faced off against the Maori All Blacks in 2018.
All three fixtures will provide Argentina with valuable game time leading into the Rugby Championship after the cancellation or suspension of rugby worldwide due to COVID-19 in March.
Domestic versions of Super Rugby have since resumed in New Zealand and Australia, but neither competition have featured any Argentine players.
Instead, most players in the Argentine national set-up are signed with the nation’s sole Super Rugby franchise, the Jaguares, the country’s only SLAR club, Los Ceibos, or with teams in the UK and France.
Subsequently, no Argentine players have taken to the field in five months, meaning the South American Championship will provide Mario Ledsema’s side with some much-needed preparation ahead of games against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
Americas Rugby News reports that only inactive players from the Jaguares and Los Ceibos will be available for the South American Championship, while those based abroad will come into the selection frame in New Zealand.
“Uruguay is the South American country with the most consolidated control of COVID-19,” Sudamérica Rugby president Sebastián Piñeyrúa said.
“We are in a more favourable situation and can organise a tournament to activate the region’s rugby.
“We are trying to establish a competition involving Uruguay, Chile, Brazil and Argentina, with a competition that lasts 15 days provides the possibility for each team to play three matches.”
Although it is yet to be confirmed, the re-scheduled Rugby Championship is expected to take place in New Zealand between November and December.
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