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Australia snatch Rugby Championship with Ledesma among new Pumas positives

It would mean the Wallabies will head to New Zealand first, as soon as next Sunday after the final of Super Rugby AU, to play two Bledisloe Cup matches against the Kiwis before returning for a six-game Rugby Championship campaign on home soil against the All Blacks, Springboks and Pumas beginning in early November.

The New Zealand Herald also reported on Friday morning that Australia was expected to be announced as Rugby Championships hosts.

The report said the first two Bledisloe Cup matches would be pushed back a week and staged on October 17 and 24, most likely in Auckland and Wellington.

Australia’s superior quaratine conditions, under which teams can train together in large groups while in isolation, is understood to have been taken into account and a major factor as to why officials went with Australia.

SANZAAR will make an announcement at 1pm AEST.

Meanwhile Ledesma, the former Wallabies assistant and current Argentina head coach, has tested positive to COVID-19 along with a number of other staff members and players.

Despite the news, Argentina is still hopeful of competing in the Rugby Championship, which is just under two months away.

Mario Ledesma during last year's Rugby Championship.

Mario Ledesma during last year’s Rugby Championship. Credit:AP

Last week, Argentina announced that six of its players had tested positive for COVID-19 and after another round of tests, it appears the virus is more widespread than first thought.

A statement posted on the Pumas website said: “The national team carried out a new batch of PCR tests. 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.

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“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.”

Some members of the squad who have been isolated from others will continue to train, while others will have to quaratine for the time being.

Ledesma was the Waratahs and Wallabies scrum coach up until 2017 before taking on the job as Jaguares boss and then Argentina head coach.

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