Mario Ledesma, former Australia forwards coach, has named six uncapped players in his Rugby Championship squad. Photo: Benoit Tessier/ Reuters

PARIS, France - New Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has named six uncapped players in his first squad ahead of the four-nation Rugby Championship that begins on August 18.

Forwards Lucas Favre, Marco Ciccioli, Diego Fortuny, Santiago Grondona, Franco Molina and Mayco Vivas were all included in a 36-man squad by Ledesma, who took over from Daniel Hourcade last week.

Tomas Lezana and Leonardo Senatore were the main absentees due to injury while Tomas Cubelli and Matias Moroni were recalled. The South Americans will train in Buenos Aires before flying out to Durban on Saturday. They begin the tournament with back-to-back fixtures against South Africa.

Argentina, who were semi-finalists at the 2015 World Cup, finished without a point in last year's Rugby Championship after losing all six of their matches. They have slumped to 10th in the World Rugby rankings and barring a victory in Italy last November, it's almost two years since Argentina last beat a tier one nation.

Argentina squad for the four-nation Rugby Championship, which begins on August 18: Matias Alemanno, Gonzalo Bertranou, Emiliano Boffelli, Rodrigo Bruni, Sebastian Cancelliere, Agustin Creevy, Tomas Cubelli, Jeronimo De la Fuente, Bautista Delguy, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Bautista Ezcurra, Santiago Garcia Botta, Santiago G. Iglesias, Marcos Kremer, Martin Landajo, Tomas Lavanini, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Juan Cruz Mallia, Pablo Matera, Santiago Medrano, Julian Montoya, Matias Moroni, Ramiro Moyano, Matias Orlando, Javier Ortega Desio, Guido Petti, Nicolas Sanchez, Nahuel Tetaz C., Juan Zeiss, Marco Ciccioli, Lucas Favre, Diego Fortuny, Santiago Grondona, Vivas Mayco, Ignacio Larrague, Franco Molina.

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