Argentina name foreign-based players for All Blacks clash

Nicolas Sanchez (Gallo Images)
Nicolas Sanchez (Gallo Images)

Buenos Aires - Argentina included five European-based players, but omitted Juan Imhoff from their squad for next weekend's Rugby Championship match against New Zealand, the Argentinian Rugby Union announced.

The Argentine governing body has recently softened restrictions on individuals with contracts outside the country representing the Pumas.

Head coach Mario Ledesma picked four European-based players: flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez, who is with Stade Francais, Toulon back-rower Facundo Isa, Bordeaux-Begles wing Santiago Cordero and Saracens prop Juan Figallo.

But Ledesma omitted wing Imhoff, 31, whose last international appearance came at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and plays for Racing 92 in France.

Castres flyhalf Benjamin Urdapilleta, is also absent, but he is injured and is part of Ledesma's preliminary Rugby World Cup squad.

The majority of the 30-man squad come from a Jaguares side who reached the Super Rugby final for the first time on July 7, losing to 10-time winners the Crusaders.

Centre Lucas Mensa is the only uncapped player.

Argentina host the All Blacks in Buenos Aires on Saturday before travelling to Australia on July 27 and welcoming South Africa to Salta on August 10.

The shortened tournament forms part of the Pumas' preparations for this year's World Cup in Japan.

Ledesma's side start their campaign against France on September 21 in Tokyo before facing Tonga, England and the US.

Argentina's 30-man squad to face New Zealand on July 20 in The Rugby Championship:

Forwards (16)

Matias Alemanno, Agustin Creevy (captain), Juan Figallo, Ramiro Herrera, Facundo Isa, Marcos Kremer, Tomas Lavanini, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Tomas Lezana, Pablo Matera, Santiago Medrano, Julian Montoya, Javier Ortega Desio, Guido Petti, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Mayco Vivas

Backs (14)

Emiliano Boffelli, Sebastian Cancelliere, Santiago Cordero, Tomas Cubelli, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Felipe Ezcurra, Lucas Mensa, Manuel Montero, Matias Moroni, Ramiro Moyano, Matias Orlando, Nicolas Sanchez, Joaquin Tuculet

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