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photo credit: Rodrigo Vergara

Argentina names squad for Rugby Championship opener

Argentina have named a 26-man squad to take on South Africa in their opening match of the Rugby Championship, reducing the group from the original 33 named. The Pumas will play the Springboks at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on August 19.

Still to be trimmed for the match day 23 are two forwards and one back. With Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro set to start at loosehead prop the bench spot will come down to Santiago García Botta or Lucas Noguera Paz. The presence of 20-year-old Marcos Kremer as an option either at lock or loose forward gives Daniel Hourcade a number of variables among his replacements.

One outside back is set to be omitted with Matias Moroni, Emiliano Boffelli, Santiago Cordero, and Ramiro Moyano all fighting over two starting wing spots and one three-quarter reserve role. Meanwhile Juan Martín Hernández looks to be the preferred inside back cover with Santiago González Iglesias left out.

A number of debates remain for Hourcade with selections to depend on both form and preferred style. The core of the team, however, remains intact with top names such as captain Agustín Creevy, Tomás Lavanini, Pablo Matera, and Nicolás Sánchez certain to reprise their starting roles.

FORWARDS
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Santiago García Botta, Ramiro Herrera, Lucas Noguera Paz, Enrique Pieretto, Agustín Creevy (capt.), Julián Montoya, Matías Alemanno, Tomás Lavanini, Guido Petti, Marcos Kremer, Tomás Lezana, Pablo Matera, Javier Ortega Desio, Leonardo Senatore

BACKS
Tomás Cubelli, Martín Landajo, Nicolás Sánchez, Juan Martín Hernández, Jerónimo de la Fuente, Matías Orlando, Matías Moroni, Emiliano Boffelli, Santiago Cordero, Ramiro Moyano, Joaquín Tuculet

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