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Lavanini named in Pumas squad to face All Blacks

Future Leicester Tigers lock Tomas Lavanini has been named in a 30-man Argentina squad ahead of the Los Pumas Rugby Championship opener against New Zealand on Saturday (July 20) in Buenos Aires.

Argentina host the All Blacks at Estadio Jose Amalfitani before travelling to Australia in Round 2 to face the Wallabies.

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, with Lavanini included alongside former Tigers forward Pablo Matera and scrum-half Felipe Ezcurra, who had a brief stint with the club during the 2018/19 season, for the clash with the reigning World Champions.

South Africa host Australia in the other Round 1 fixture at Emirates Airlines Park in Johannesburg, with former Tigers back Matt Toomua in contention for a place in the matchday squad after being included in the touring party.

Lavanini will remain with Argentina throughout the 2019 Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup before linking up with his new Tigers team-mates in Leicester for the 2019/20 Premiership and European Rugby seasons.

Argentina squad for New Zealand

Forwards: Matias Alemanno, Agustin Creevy (capt), 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: 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