Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has lashed out at rugby officials saying his side were 'disrespected' in the lead-up to last night's Rugby Championship defeat to the Wallabies.
Following Argentina's 27-8 loss in Townsville on Saturday, Ledesma took time near the end of the post-match press conference to raise an issue with a captain's photo call on Friday.
Australia, New Zealand and South Africa's respective captains all took part in the photo opportunity but Argentina's skipper Julian Montoya was nowhere to be seen.
That's because Argentina didn't arrive in Townsville until later in the day on Friday and Ledesma said the side was disrespected and the photo call shouldn't have taken place without them.
The All Blacks posted a video on their social media channels of Ardie Savea and rival captains Siya Kolisi and Michael Hooper sharing banter after the photoshoot, where social media users began to question why there was no Argentinian in attendance.
"We were disrespected," Ledesma said. "[There was] a video. Everyone is joking and having a good time. Our captain is not there. How do you think we feel about that? How would you feel about that if Australia was treated that way? [There should be] a little common sense and say guys, 'we are four teams over here, we cannot make a picture and a video with one captain missing'. Even if it's lost in translation. It's not an excuse or valid.
"At the end of the day, if we're not here, you shouldn't do it, just [out of] respect. I don't think it's a lot to ask.
"I don't know if it was Rugby Australia, SANZAAR or whatever. It's just disrespectful and it hurts a lot because we have families. We have kids we haven't seen for ages now. The only thing we ask is to get treated fairly and with respect."
A Rugby Australia spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald that attempts were made to have all four captains but with the teams based an hour apart, it wasn't possible. Offers were made to pick up a non-playing member from the Argentina squad but it wasn't taken up.
Despite the failed attempts to have an Argentinian representative, the shoot still went ahead which angered Ledesma.
"We were told they weren't supposed to take the picture," Ledesma said. "We're not asking for much. Last year when South Africa pulled out, we came over here, went through strict lockdown and were away from home for three or four months. We're the only team that haven't played at home for more than two years. We feel sometimes we get treated with disrespect and we continue and cop it on the chin.
"Nobody seems to care because no one picked it up."
Argentina were the story of last year's tournament, beating the All Blacks for the first time ever despite going into the test on the back of MIQ and no proper warm-up followed by back-to-back draws with Australia to finish second.