Monday, December 20, 2010

Farewell to Ninja Federico Todeschini

Former Pumas flyhalf Federico Todeschini, perhaps better known as the Ninja, had his retirement match on saturday. The match was a 60 minute exhibition match played over three twenty minute periods using friendly rules which meant over 60 players participated in the match. It was not a match featuring Todeschini´s club, Atlético del Rosario. Instead the match was well and truely an exhibition with one side known as the Amigos XV, wearing the Pumas colors of sky blue and white facing off against the Plaza XV.

The Ninja had a good game scoring a try to appropriately say Adios to his playing days. Amongst the players involved in the match were close freinds of Todeschini including Argentine legend Agustín Pichot as well as Patricio Fuselli, Diego Giannantonio, Rodrigo Crexell, Nicolás Bossicovich, Gonzalo Romero Acuñam, Juan de la Cruz Fernández Miranda, Nicolás Fernández Miranda, Simón Boffelli, José Orengo, Octavio Bartolucci, Jorge Belotti, Mauro Cingolani and the younger brother of the Ninja - Joaquín Todeschini.

The Ninja was a key figure for Argentina in the historical win vs England at Twickenham in 2006 in which he scored 22 of Argentina´s 25 points. He made his test debut for Argentina in 1998 vs Romania and also played Uruguay that year. He would not feature in Rugby World Cup 1999 or 2003 however as his next test was not until 2005 when he was recalled to play Japan. He scored 19 points and was then selected at flyhalf for Los Pumas to play the Lions in Cardiff in a match which made him famous as he kicked 20 points with 7 goals from 7 attempts as Argentina and the Lions drew 25-25. This performance saw him retained permantly in Argentine colors and he was consequently included in the Pumas squad for Rugby World Cup 2007, playing in three of Argentina´s matches. On two occassions, Ninja scored 30 points for Argentina - vs Italy in Salta in 2005 and vs Wales in Buenos Aires one year latter. In total he scored 276 points for Los Pumas, including 4 tries in 22 tests. Argentina won 75% of matches involving Ninja.

The 35 year old previously played in France for over 10 years as well as one season of professional rugby in Italy with Parma from 1998-1999. His most notable run came in 2006-2010 while playing in the Top 14 for Montpellier. He also played for Grenoble (1999-2000), La Rochelle (2000-2002), Bègles-Bordeaux (2002-2003) and Béziers (2003-2006) in the Pro d2.

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