Argentine rugby has been rocked by the news that twenty-one year old back-rower Pablo Matera will play no further part in the Rugby Championship after he is required to undergo surgery on his left shoulder which was injured in the first half against South Africa on Saturday in Salta. The loss of Matera comes at a time when Argentina is set to announce the return of another back-rower from injury. It also occurs with Matera having performed well in both test matches against South Africa. Headcoach Daniel Hourcade will now likely change his back-row formation with Juan Manuel Leguizamón likely to wear the 6 shirt in place of Matera.
Earlier today an MRI scan confirmed that Pablo Matera would be unable to play any further part in the Rugby Championship. It was confirmed that his attempted tackle on Ruan Pienaar, who kicked through for Bryan Habana to score, meant his tournament was over. Matera suffered a torn subscapularis and labrum which ends his international season.
Without Matera Daniel Hourcade is likely to utilize either Leonardo Senatore or Benjamín Macome in the starting back-row. Senatore came off the bench in place of the injured Matera in Salta which saw rotation as he played at the back of the scrum with Juan Manuel Leguizamón moving to the side. A repeat could occur in Napier or, alternatively, Hourcade could start Macome who was impressive against Ireland in Chaco in June.
Macome is set to be named in the squad to tour New Zealand and Australia which is to fly out from Buenos Aires on Friday. With Macome injured Rodrigo Báez had been training as the fifth choice back-rower and is likely to also be on the flight to Auckland. Other players under consideration include Tomás De la Vega and Javier Ortega Desio. Both featured in June.
Matera joins winger Gonzalo Camacho and centre Gabriel Ascárate in addition to props Maximilano Bustos and Juan Figallo on the injured list. Of them Matera is the only player with any realistic chance of playing in the November internationals in which the South Americans will play tests in Europe against France, Italy and Scotland.