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Lavanini to start for Argentina against All Blacks

Incoming Leicester lock Tomas Lavanini has been named in the starting side for Argentina in their Rugby Championship opener against the All Blacks on Saturday in Buenos Aires.

Lavanini starts in the second-row alongside Jaguares team-mate Guido Petti, who he formed a formidable pairing with during the Super Rugby season on their way to a second-placed finish.

Former Leicester Tigers forward Pablo Matera will captain the side from blind-side flanker.

Felipe Ezcurra, who spent three months in Leicester during the 2018/19 season as injury cover, has been included on the bench.

South Africa host Australia in the only other fixture of the opening weekend at Emirates Airlines Park in Johannesburg, with former Tigers back Matt Toomua included on the Wallabies bench for their showdown with the Springboks.

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.