Six Argentina players to miss Australia clash due to unauthorised Byron Bay trip

By Sports Desk September 30, 2021

Six Argentina players have been ruled out of facing Australia in the Rugby Championship on Saturday after making an unauthorised trip to Byron Bay.

Pablo Matera, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Felipe Ezcurra, Santiago Medrano, Santiago Socino and Sebastian Cancelliere were stopped at the state border when they attempted to return to their Gold Coast base from New South Wales on Wednesday.

Manager Lucas Chioccarelli and video analyst Rodrigo Martinez were also prevented from entering Queensland due to coronavirus rules.

The Argentine Rugby Union stated that the players will not be available to face the Wallabies in their final match of the tournament at Cbus Stadium this weekend.

Rugby Championship organiser SANZAAR said in a statement: "SANZAAR has informed Argentina Rugby that all members of this group are now ineligible to participate further in The Rugby Championship as they have breached tournament rules.

"SANZAAR is very disappointed that such a breach has occurred given the clear rules that are in place to ensure the health and safety of all players and staff, and compliance with all relevant health orders."

The Pumas are bottom of the table, having failed to pick up a point from five matches.

Meanwhile, Greg Holmes will become the oldest player to feature for opponents Australia since World War II at the age of 38 after the prop was named among the replacements by Dave Rennie.

Darcy Swain and Pete Samu come into the side, while back-rower Sean McMahon will also start on the bench as the Wallabies eye a fourth successive win to secure second place behind champions New Zealand.

 

Australia: Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia, Len Ikitau, Samu Kerevi, Andrew Kellaway, Quade Cooper, Nic White; James Slipper, Folau Fainga'a, Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodda, Darcy Swain, Pete Samu, Michael Hooper (captain) Rob Valetini.

Replacements: Lachlan Lonergan, Angus Bell, Greg Holmes, Matt Philip, Sean McMahon, Jake Gordon, James O'Connor, Tom Wright.

Argentina: Juan Cruz Mallia, Matias Moroni, Lucio Cinti, Santiago Chocobares, Emiliano Boffelli, Santiago Carreras, Gonzalo Bertranou; Rodrigo Martinez, Julian Montoya (captain), Enrique Pieretto, Guido Petti, Tomas Lavanini, Juan Martin Gonzalez, Marcos Kremer, Rodrigo Bruni.

Replacements: Facundo Bosch, Thomas Gallo, Eduardo Bello, Matias Alemanno, Francisco Gorrissen, Gonzalo Garcia, Domingo Miotti, Mateo Carreras.

Related items

  • Stokes return a 'great boost' for England - Leach Stokes return a 'great boost' for England - Leach

    England's Jack Leach has said Ben Stokes' return to the squad is a "great boost" ahead of the start of the Ashes series in Australia.

    Stokes has not played competitively since July and was initially omitted from England's squad as he recovered from a second operation on a broken finger and took a break to protect his mental wellbeing, but the all-rounder was subsequently added to the travelling party.

    Stokes famously partnered Leach in a last-wicket stand of 76 to dramatically beat the Aussies in the third Test at Headingley in 2019.

    "Obviously having Stokesy back is a great boost for all of us," Leach said. "Some of the things he's done in the past, you know, he's such an important player for us.

    "In terms of the balance, it really helps things out, and it's probably good news for the spin department.

    "The wickets aren't necessarily going to be really spin-friendly, but I think spin has as a big part to play in Ashes series where England have been successful.

    "The spinners have got a big part to play. So, yeah, I'm hopeful I can be the guy and play that role, definitely."

    On how Stokes has reintegrated into training and the squad, Leach added: "Luckily, I haven't had to face him in the nets. But yeah, he's looking really good.

    "He's fit back into the group brilliantly. It's great to have him back around.

    "He's been brilliant and he's such a team man. I think the group is only better for having him in it. He brings experience, I think he really brings the boys together, so that's been really good.

    "He's looking good bowling and batting. I've bowled at him and he doesn't block too many balls from the spinners, so yeah, he's looked good."

    Leach is hopeful of playing a part in the upcoming series, and admitted to regularly watching his Australian counterpart Nathan Lyon to pick up tips and tricks to improve his own bowling.

    "I'm preparing to play, definitely. Like I do for every series that I'm involved with," he added. "For me, the best way to go about it, obviously is to try to prepare to play, and then obviously be really disappointed if I'm not.

    "For years I've watched Nathan Lyon, and he's very impressive how he goes about his business. Just how strong his stock ball is and on wickets that don't necessarily offer a lot spin-wise, I think he's found ways to extract bounce and dip. So a lot over spin from him, and I think those are the kind of things I've been trying to add in.

    "You take little bits from everyone you play against. I was in India looking at Axar Patel, [Ravi] Ashwin and seeing what I can take from them. So you're always doing that.

    "But I think it's important not to get too caught up in that and also just stick to your strengths as well, and know that you're playing at this level for a reason."

  • Stokes 'fit and hungry for a big series' ahead of Ashes opener Stokes 'fit and hungry for a big series' ahead of Ashes opener

    England all-rounder Ben Stokes has declared himself "fit and hungry for a big series" ahead of the first Ashes Test against Australia.

    Joe Root's side get their campaign started on December 8 in Brisbane and will be boosted by the return of their star all-rounder Stokes.

    The 30-year-old has not played competitively since July and was initially omitted from England's squad as he recovered from a second operation on a broken finger and took a break to protect his mental wellbeing.

    But Stokes was subsequently added to the travelling party in October as he assured he was ready to make a comeback for the tour and first Test at The Gabba.

    Stokes, who averages 38.37 against Australia, offered England a scare when he took a blow to the forearm in a net session last week before Root confirmed the Durham man was fit. 

    With just a week to go before the two old foes do battle once more, Stokes is relishing the opportunity to take on Justin Langer's side.

     

    "Don't call it a comeback," Stokes posted on Instagram alongside a video of him training with bat and ball on Wednesday.

    "Spent some time testing out the finger with [Adidas] last month.

    "Two months ago, I couldn't hold a bat. With one week to go till the first Test, I'm fit and hungry for a big series Down Under!"

  • BBC 'expect to work' with Vaughan again after Yorkshire racism allegations BBC 'expect to work' with Vaughan again after Yorkshire racism allegations

    Michael Vaughan remains under contract with the BBC, who "expect to work" with the former England captain again after standing him down from their Ashes coverage following Azeem Rafiq's racism allegations.

    Vaughan was named in a report this month investigating Rafiq's claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire, but has repeatedly and categorically denied the allegations.

    The 47-year-old, who played for Yorkshire between 1993 and 2009, allegedly told a group of team-mates in 2009 there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

    Those claims were corroborated by then Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and current England white-ball specialist Adil Rashid.

    Vaughan has since been stood down from his BBC Radio 5 Live Show before being removed from the broadcaster's Ashes coverage due to his involvement in a "significant story" representing a "conflict of interest".

    The BBC reiterated their stance on Wednesday, as they informed that Vaughan – who led England to Ashes glory in 2005 – would play no role in their upcoming coverage, though they look set to work with him in the future.

    "We're in regular contact with Michael and have had positive conversations with him in recent days," read a statement from the BBC.

    "Our contributors are required to talk about relevant issues, so Michael's involvement in a story of such significance means it's not possible for him to be part of our Ashes coverage or wider cricket coverage at the moment.

    "We're pleased with how our conversations are going and expect to work with Michael again in the future. He remains on contract to the BBC."

    Vaughan said after the BBC's decision he was "very disappointed not to be commentating on the Ashes" but added he was looking forward to working on the series for Fox Sports in Australia.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.