Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Contepomi made his debut for Argentina vs Chile in 1998 and as of May 2011 he has played 71 test matches for his country. He was selected for Los Pumas squad for Rugby World Cup 1999 and played three matches - vs Japan, Ireland and France. He was Argentina´s backup flyhalf for all matches behind Gonzalo Quesada but following the World Cup was in the starting XV but usually as a fullback. He overtook Quesada as Argentina´s first choice flyhalf in 2001 and made history in November of that year as he scored 25 points for Argentina as Los Pumas defeated Wales 30-16 in front of a fullhouse crowd at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. The following week, Contepomi scored 20 points as Argentina defeated Scotland at Murrayfield. He was also Argentina´s flyhalf for three of the teams four memorable wins over France from 2002-2004. He scored 14 points in Argentina´s 24-14 victory over France in Marseilles in 2004 which was the first time France had ever been defeated in Marseilles.
From 2005 on Contepomi has mainly been used as an inside centre for Argentina and has played in some of his sides most historical matches such as the 25-25 draw vs the British and Irish Lions in 2005 and the win vs England at Twickenham in 2006. He almost defeated Ireland single-handedly in Santa Fé in June 2007 playing flyhalf but was used in the mid-field for the South Americans great run in France for Rugby World Cup 2007. Contepomi started every match, six times at inside centre and played flyhalf vs Namibia. He finished the tournament as the second highest points score behind South Africa´s Percy Montgomery. He has been Argentina´s permanent captain since the retirement of Agustín Pichot following France 2007.
In addition to being a highly accomplished rugby player, Contepomi is also a qualified doctor, having completed his studies in Dublin, Ireland during his time playing for Leinster. On May 31st 2007, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland conferred him with the medical degrees of MB BCh BAO (NUI) LRCP&SI and he subsequently worked at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.