Argentina loose forward Javier Ortega Desio has tested positive for COVID-19 and excluded from the Pumas training camp for the Rugby Championship, the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) said late on Sunday.
The 57-cap Jaguares back-rower was named in Mario Ledesma’s 46-man locally-based training squad two weeks ago but never got into the camp, the UAR said in a statement.
“The player never trained at Casa Pumas because he was fulfilling mandatory isolation,” it added.
“In the days prior to the start of training he had presented symptoms such as fever and general malaise, which later confirmed the presence of the coronavirus.”
Southern hemisphere rugby’s governing body SANZAAR are hoping to run the Rugby Championship, which also features New Zealand, Australia and world champions South Africa, in November and December.
Travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in plans to stage the tournament in a single hub in New Zealand but a second coronavirus outbreak in Auckland has, temporarily at least, put that proposal on the backburner.
Argentina is still reporting thousands of new coronavirus cases every day and the government has enforced strict social distancing measures.
The Pumas camp will continue in Buenos Aires on Monday but all the players will be tested for the virus before the third week of training commences, the UAR said.