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Contepomi reveals wholesale changes as Argentina starts new era

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: New Argentina coach Felipe Contepomi has named a much-changed squad for next month’s Tests with France and Uruguay, leaving out 15 members of the set-up at last year’s World Cup.

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Among the big-name absentees from Contepomi’s first full squad are ageing Test centurions hooker Agustin Creevy and flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez as well as utility back Juan Cruz Mallia.

Toulouse’s Mallia, Bordeaux-Begles lock Guido Petti and La Rochelle prop Joel Sclavi are missing due to their end-of-season commitment with their French clubs.

Former Pumas playmaker Contepomi took over from Australian Michael Cheika after October’s World Cup third-place play-off loss and assembled a training squad, without playing a game, in London earlier this year.

Contepomi has selected four uncapped players. Brive prop Francisco Coria Marchetti, Vannes loose forward Bautista Pedemonte as well as lock Franco Molina and fullback Mateo Soler from the Dogos XV domestic side have yet to feature for the Test side.

Eleven members of the squad play their club rugby in France, including in-form Clermont wing Bautista Delguy.

“This year is the starting point of a new World Cup cycle with the main objective of the Australia 2027 World Cup,” Contepomi said in an Argentine Rugby Union statement on Wednesday.

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“We will put a lot of emphasis on the recovery of the players, and that is why several will have a rest and will be part of the squad rotation for other games in the year [the Rugby Championship and the November window],” he added.

Los Pumas play France on July 6 and 13 before a Test against Uruguay a week later.

They then play six games in the Rugby Championship before facing Italy, Ireland and Les Bleus again in November.

Argentina Squad:

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Forwards: Matias Alemanno, Eduardo Bello, Bautista Bernasconi, Ignacio Calles, Santiago Coria Marchetti, Thomas Gallo, Santiago Grondona, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera, Franco Molina, Julian Montoya, Joaquin Moro, Joaquin Oviedo, Lucas Paulos, Bautista Pedemonte, Pedro Rubiolo, Ignacio Ruiz, Lucio Sordoni, Mayco Vivas.

Backs: Tomas Albornoz, Lautaro Bazan Velez, Gonzalo Bertranou, Martin Bogado, Mateo Carreras, Santiago Carreras, Santiago Chocobares, Santiago Cordero, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Bautista Delguy, Gonzalo Garcia, Ignacio Mendy, Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Mateo Soler.

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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