Sunday, July 11, 2010

Famous Faces Abroad - Chilean players in France



The 2010-2011 French rugby season will not simply feature players from Argentina representing South America. In addition to World rugby powerhouses, Argentina and two time Rugby World Cup participants, Uruguay, Chile will have a group of four players competing in France this season. Chile are ranked 24th in the IRB World Rankings and are 100% amateur yet the country is able to produce players good enough to attract professional contracts abroad.

Condores second-rower, Sergio Valdés will be playing his fourth season for pro d2 club, FR Auch. Valdés previously played for two other Pro d2 French clubs: Racing métro 92 Paris (now Top 14) and Stade aurillacois Cantal Auvergne. FC Auch were in the Top 14 for the 2007-2008 season. Valdés is is considered as one of Chile´s best players. He has represented Chile vs all South American opponents and was a key player for Chile in the qualifying matches for Rugby World Cup 2003 when Chile defeated the USA.


Chilean centre, Francisco de la Fuente will be playing for the development side for Auch. de la Fuente was a member of the Chilean under 20 team that reached the final of the 2008 IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy which was held in Chile. Los Condores had a highly successful tournament in defeating the Cook Islands 33-10, Namibia 20-06 and Romania 14-03. In addition to defeating the junior sides of two Rugby World Cup participants (Namibia and Romania), Chile progressed to the final but were defeated 20-08 by Uruguay. de la Fuente was one of the teams leading players and recieved recognition by the IRB on their website during the tournament.




Condores prop, Sebastián Gajardo will be playing in France´s third division for Paris club, Bobigny 93. Gajardo has played professional rugby in France since 2002. His first contract was for two years in which he played for Sergio Valdés´s previous club, Aurillac in the pro d2. Since 2003 he has played for Bobigny 93. Like Gajardo, Chilean flyhalf Cristián González will also be playing in the Federále 1. The highly experienced González has captained Chile in important matches, inclding vs Fiji in 2003.

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