Townsville Bulletin

Argentina lashes out over snub


ARGENTINA coach Mario Ledesma launched a stunning attack on Rugby Australia and SANZAAR in the wake of his side’s 27-8 loss in Townsville.

A simple photo op on Townsville’s iconic The Strand on Friday has sent shockwaves through the rugby world, and fractured the relationsh­ip between nations.

The opportunit­y included the captains of the Wallabies, Springboks and All Blacks with the Pumas understood to be flying into the North Queensland capital later that night.

But Ledesma labelled the decision to proceed without the Argentinia­ns as “disrespect­ful”. “The boys and the staff, we felt really disrespect­ed,” Ledesma (pictured) said. “It was supposed to happen last week, but it didn’t happen. One team pulled out once and a n o t h e r pulled out the other time. When it was our time that we c o u l d n ’ t make it, we were told they weren’t supposed to take the picture. “We’re not asking for much. We are always travelling and we never complain, but we feel sometimes we are getting treated with disrespect. We just continue and cop it on the chin. It hurts, it hurts a lot.”

A source close to the negotiatio­ns disputed Ledesma’s claims.

It’s understood there was an original photo op with all four skippers planned for September 11 on the Gold Coast but it was cancelled by SANZAAR.

It is understood the Pumas were booked on the same flight as the All Blacks, which landed in Townsville on Thursday night. The photo op was set for the Friday to accommodat­e all four teams weeks ago. The source said when Argentina changed its flights last Monday to arrive later on Friday it was informed that the photo would proceed.

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