While Argentina have a number of new Covid-19 cases within their training camp including coach Mario Ledesma, the Rugby Championship is set to go ahead with Australia hosting the four-nations tournament.

New Zealand was originally slated to host the November-December tournament, also involving the Pumas and the World Cup-winning Springboks, but Australia is believed to have been given the nod following a Sanzaar teleconference on Thursday night.

As well as commercial considerations, Australia’s less onerous border and quarantine restrictions are behind the switch, with confirmation expected later on Friday.

Queensland and NSW were offered up as solutions, with financially stricken Rugby Australia desperate to get some Test action back on the field.

New Zealand’s case has not been helped by a second wave of Covid-19 in Auckland but the Wallabies are still set to travel across the Tasman for two Bledisloe Cup matches in October.

New coach Dave Rennie will name the squad on Sunday, which will be an expanded 46-man squad with a quarantine bubble not allowing players to be brought in as injury cover.

Meanwhile Ledesma, the former Wallabies assistant, has tested positive for coronavirus along with a number of other Pumas staff members and players. Last week Argentina Rugby announced six of its players had tested positive for Covid-19.

A statement posted on the Pumas website said: “The results of the swabs showed the appearance of positive cases of Covid-19 in some members of the staff. Among them, the coaches Mario Ledesma, Nicolas Fernandez Miranda and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

“For their part, the new positive cases among the players correspond to Felipe Ezcurra, Matias Moroni, Tomas Cubelli, Matias Orlando and Mateo Carreras. “Those infected were isolated, are asymptomatic and in good health.”

source: theguardian.com


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