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Messi in Argentina squad for World Cup qualifiers

Lionel Messi. Credit: PA

Lionel Messi has been named in Argentina's squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers after reversing his decision to retire from international football.

The Barcelona star announced on Friday he loves Argentina "too much" to walk away from the national team, having announced his Albiceleste career was over following their penalty shoot-out loss to Chile in the Copa America final in June.

Following talks with new Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza, Messi was included in the squad to face Uruguay and Venezuela next month.

Messi, Argentina's captain and all-time record goalscorer with 55 goals, said: "I see there are many problems in Argentinian football and I don't intend to create another one.

"I don't want to cause any damage, I've always tried to do just the opposite, to help all that I can.

"We need to fix many things in Argentinian football, but I prefer to do this from inside and not criticise from outside."

Twickenham to host Argentina v Australia in October

Twickenham will stage the Rugby Championship Test match between Argentina and Australia later this year.

Australia will meet Argentina at Twickenham in October. Credit: PA

Tournament organisers SANZAAR have confirmed Saturday, October 8 as the date for a fixture that will make history as the first Rugby Championship match to be played outside any of the competing nations - Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa.

The game, which is a 'home' fixture for Argentina, will conclude this year's competition. It starts on August 20, and also incorporates venues such as Sydney, Wellington, Buenos Aires and Brisbane.

It means that Argentina and Australia will be back at Twickenham almost a year after they met each other on the same ground in a World Cup semi-final clash that the Wallabies won 29-15.

SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos said:

While we witness the daring and exciting brand of rugby played by southern hemisphere teams on a regular basis, last year's Rugby World Cup well and truly showcased that skill and flair to the rest of the world.

Now, we are thrilled to announce that two of our national teams, Argentina and Australia, will be returning to the United Kingdom some 12 months later to contest what will be a historic chapter of the Rugby Championship.

– SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos
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