Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pedro Ledesma returns after 10 months

The younger brother of the eternal Pumas hooker, Mario Ledesma has been named in the Stade Français team for tonights Amlin Challenge Cup contest vs Romania´s Bucuresti Oaks in Paris. Mario Ledesma is 37 years old whereas Pedro is much younger, aged only 25. Pedro Ledesma has been missing due to a knee injury suffered last season playing for Stade Français. Both Mario and Pedro have previously won the Top 14 Orange as Pedro played tighthead prop for Stade Français in their championship winning final in 2007 which featured two other Argentine props and also Mario Ledesma as Argentina had 5 of the 6 starting places in the frontrows. After losing the previous three finals, Mario Ledesma was again hooker in the 2010 final when Clermont finally won their first ever national title.

Pedro Ledesma will be joined by three other Pumas in the Stade Français side as they look to all but guarantee themselves top place in the group and thus a home quarterfinal. Martín Rodriguez Gurruchaga has been named at fullback with Gonzalo Tiesi starting at inside centre and Juan Manuel Leguizamon selected in the backrow. Pedro Ledesma, however, will not pack down alongside Pumas loosehead prop Rodrigo Roncero who has been rested for the match.

All three Pumas stareting alongside Pedro Ledemsa are certainties for the Argentina squad for Rugby World Cup 2011 and Pedro Ledesma´s return will certainly attract great interest from the national selectors. Pedro Ledesma made his test debut Argentina vs Italy in 2008 as he replaced the injured Martín Scelzo, who coincidently is currently injured having suffered a fracture in Clermont´s win vs Leinster this past weekend. Unfortunately for Pedro Ledesma he himself was injured in his second test and forced to leave the field in only the eighth minute of play following an injury. In total he has missed over two years of potential international duty for Los Pumas due to injury.

Stade Français 2007

Amlin Challenge Cup Fixtures - Round 4

Group 1
Friday Connacht vs Harlequins
Saturday Cavalieri Prato vs Aviron Bayonnais

Group 2
Sunday El Salvador vs Petrarca Padova
Sunday Sale Sharks vs Brive

Group 3
Saturday Bourgoin vs Montpellier
Sunday  Newcastle Falcons vs Exeter Chiefs

Group 4
Thursday Stade Français vs Bucuresti Oaks
Sunday Crociati Rugby vs Leeds Carnegie

Group 5
Saturday SU Agen vs Rugby Rovigo 
Sunday Gloucester Rugby vs La Rochelle

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