BUENOS AIRES - A decision to ease restrictions on European-based players could be the impetus that Argentina need to reverse a long slump and finally begin to compete with the traditional powers of the southern hemisphere.
Argentina have used only home-based players in the Rugby Championship since 2015 when they reached the World Cup semi-finals and every year since they have finished last, winning one of their 12 matches.
However, new coach Mario Ledesma asked the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) for permission to call up Saracens tight head prop Juan Figallo, who last played in the 2015 World Cup, and Ramiro Herrera, the Stade Francais prop forward, is expected to join him.
UAR officials said they are willing to relax the restriction in future and Ledesma's request is proof he wants new blood and a deeper squad to rejuvenate a side who have struggled to repeat the kind of form that took them to the semis three years ago.
Ledesma, who will be in charge for the first time in Argentina's opening match against the Springboks on Saturday, named six uncapped players in his squad and said his immediate goal is to improve their scrummaging and defence, two areas of traditional Argentine strength.