Saturday, January 8, 2011

Veteran Pumas Hooker Mario Ledesma still leaving his mark


Pumas frontrower Mario Ledesma was in action several hours ago for Clermont vs Brive in the Top 14. Brive won the match 29-22 with two Argentine players Pablo Cardinali and Agustin Figuerola. Ledesma has played at three Rugby World Cup´s and is all but guaranteed to play in his fourth latter this year in New Zealand. The 37 year old Argentine hooker has been playing international rugby for fifteen years since making his debut vs Uruguay in May 1996. Despite so many years of experience at the top, Ledesma does not hold the World record for test appearances nor does he feature anywhere near the top but will likely be the oldest player at this years Rugby World Cup. As of November 2010, New Zealand fullback Mils Muliaina had played 94 tests since making his debut in 2003. Irish flyhalf Ronan O´Gara has played 105 tests and debuted in 2000, South Africa´s Victor Matfield has also played 105 and debuted in 2001. Mario Ledesma, however has played 78 tests but debuted much earlier. Such is the disproportional number of internationals Argentina play compared to other leading sides.

Ledesma is regarded as being the best hooker at Rugby World Cup 1999 and has been playing professionally in France since 2001 and for current French Top 14 champions, Clermont, since 2005. Clermont hosted Perpignan in Round 14 of the Top 14 and won 22-16. Ledesma came on in the secondhalf as a replacement and truely left his mark with a huge hit on 23 year old back Jeoffrey Michel in what was a text book tackle. Aged 14 years older, Super Mario took the young Frenchman to school. Reports from Argentina and France suggest he is playing his final season of rugby and will retire after the Rugby World Cup and will stay in France to act as a forwards coach with Clermont.

With Thanks: http://www.rugbydump.com/

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