Hernandez, Sanchez give Argentina a boost

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

Buenos Aires - Star Argentina backs Juan Martin Hernandez and Nicolas Sanchez have been included in a 28-man squad for Rugby Championship Tests in New Zealand and Australia during September after recovering from injuries.

But lock Tomas Lavanini has been ruled out of the tour to Australasia by a knee injury that will require surgery, a national rugby union spokesman said.

Inside centre Hernandez and flyhalf Sanchez received head injuries that forced them to retire during the second half of a 26-24 triumph over South Africa in Salta last Saturday.

Argentine rugby icon Hernandez left the field on a stretcher while 2015 Rugby World Cup leading points scorer Sanchez walked off with blood across his face.

The duo and scrumhalf Martin Landajo are the key backline players for the Pumas, who were unluckly losers in South Africa this month before winning the rematch seven days later.

Regular starter Lavanini faces six months on the sidelines, ruling him out of the Championship and an end-of-season tour to Europe during November.

Another first choice this season, giant winger Manuel Montero, also misses the Tests in New Zealand and Australia after tearing a thigh muscle against the Springboks.

More cheerful news for coach Daniel Hourcade is the return of centres Matias Moroni and Jeronimo de la Fuente and loose forward Leonardo Senatore.

Moroni was excused from the South Africa Tests after competing at the Olympic Games rugby sevens tournament in Rio de Janeiro.

De la Fuente has recovered from an injury while Senatore is available having served a lengthy ban for biting an opponent while playing Super Rugby for the Buenos Aires-based Jaguares.

Hooker Agustin Creevy, who won his 50th cap in South Africa this month, will skipper the team against the All Blacks in Hamilton on September 10 and the Wallabies in Perth on September 17.

New Zealand top the Rugby Championship standings with a maximum 10 points after convincing home and away victories over Australia.

South Africa and Argentina have five points each and title-holders Australia are pointless.

Squad

Forwards (15): Matias Alemanno, Felipe Arregui, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Agustin Creevy (capt), Javier Ortega Desio, Ramiro Herrera, Facundo Isa, Marcos Kremer, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Pablo Matera, Julian Montoya, Lucas Noguera Paz, Guido Petti, Enrique Pieretto, Leonardo Senatore

Backs (13): Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Santiago Cordero, Tomas Cubelli, Felipe Ezcurra, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Juan Martin Hernandez, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Martin Landajo, Matias Moroni, Ramiro Moyano, Matias Orlando, Nicolas Sanchez, Joaquin Tuculet

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