Argentina sack captain

Pablo Matera has been stripped of the Argentina captaincy and suspended over 'discriminatory and xenophobic' tweets.

In his since-deleted tweets, dated from 2011 to 2013, the flank spoke of 'running over blacks' with his car and disparaged Bolivians and Paraguayans.

Two other senior players, Guido Petti and Santiago Socino, have also been suspended.

'The Argentina Rugby Union forcefully rejects the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Pumas squad on social media,' a statement read.

The ARU said that although the tweets were old and did 'not represent the personal integrity that the three have shown during their current period with the Pumas', action had to be taken.

'The Argentina Rugby Union condemns any instance of hate speech and considers it unacceptable that anyone expressing those views would represent our country,' the statement said.

Matera, who captained the Pumas to a famous win against the All Blacks three weeks ago, apologised on Instagram.

'I had a tougher time. I am very ashamed. Apologies to all those who were offended by the atrocities I wrote,' he said.

'At that moment I did not imagine who I was going to become. Today I have to take charge of what I said 9 years ago.

'I'm also sorry to my team and my family for the moment they are going through my actions and thanks to the people who love me for their support.'