Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pumas team to face French Barbarians

Argentine headcoach, Santiago Phelan has named his side to take on the French Barbarians in the first of two matches. The game is scheduled to kick off at 4:10pm local time on Saturday June 04 at the state of the art Club Atlético Independiente Stadium in Avellaneda, Greater Buenos Aires. In naming his side, Phelan was denied access to a number of English based players due to a ruling from Premier Rugby that the match is falling outside of the IRB international window and thus players are not obligated to be avaliable. In addition, players involved in the French Top 14 semi finals and final will not feature due to the final taking place on the same day and players who played for the losing semi finalists being rested.

The match is to be the fifth time that Argentina have taken on the French Barbarians. Overall, Argentina have the better record having won three of the four matches since the first ever Pumas vs French Barbarians match back in 1982. France´s victory came in 1998 while Argentina have been victorious on the two most recent occassions in 2007 and 2009. The 2009 match marked the end of the international career of long serving Argentine international secondrower, Rimas Alvarez Kairelis.

The match is very much experimental with Santiago Phelan fielding a host of new faces, inclusing a number from Los Pampas XV. There is room for six players who played in Los Pumas most recent international match, vs Ireland in November 2010. They are Rodrigo Roncero, Mariano Galarza, Genaro Fessia, Felipe Contepomi, Marcelo Bosch and Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga. All players look certain to be selected for Rugby World Cup 2011. The side has a number of experimentations including Bosch starting at 13 where he has been successful this season for Biarritz. In addtion Juan Leguizamón will start on the side of the scrum rather than at 8 to make room for Leonardo Senatore from Los Pampas XV.

1 Rodrigo Roncero (Stade Français, France)
2 Agustín Creevy (San Luis) *
3 Maximiliano Bustos (Universidad de Santa Fé) *
4 Manuel Carizza (Biarritz, France)
5 Mariano Galarza (Leinster, Ireland) *
6 Genaro Fessia (Córdoba Athletic) *
7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón (Stade Français, France)
8 Leonardo Senatore (GER Rosario) *
9 Agustín Figuerola (Brive, France)
10 Felipe Contepomi (Toulon, France)
11 Gonzalo Camacho (Harlequins, England)
12 Horacio San Martín (Aironi, Italy)
13 Marcelo Bosch (Biarritz, France)
14 Lucas Borges (Albi, France)
15 Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga (Stade Français, France)

Reserves: 16 Eusebio Guiñazú (Biarritz, France), 17 Juan Pablo Orlandi (Racing Metro, France), 18 Santiago Guzmán (Tucuman)*, 19 Alejandro Campos (Agen, France), 20 Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish, England), 21 Nicolás Sánchez (Tucuman)*, 22 Rafael Carballo (Bordeaux-Begles, France)

* Players who played for Los Pampas XV in South Africa´s Vodacom Cup


  1. how much of an indication is this of the Pumas strongest lineup for the World Cup?

  2. In my opinion it is far from being the strongest side. Its experimental seeing how some things go together - esp the backrow and centres. All of them should make the squad of 30 but maybe not the match day XV or 22.

    My suggested XV would be:

    1 Marcos Ayerza (Leicester)
    2 Mario Ledesma (Clermont)
    3 Martín Scelzo (Clermont)
    4 Manuel Carizza (Biarritz)
    5 Patricio Albacete (Toulon)
    6 Juan Fernández Lobbe (Toulon)
    7 Alejando Campos (Agen)
    8 Juan Leguizamón (Stade Français)
    9 Nicolas Vergallo (Toulouse)
    10 Juan Martín Hetrnández (Racing Metro)
    11 Horacio Agulla (Leicester)
    12 Felipe Contepomi (Toulon)
    13 Gonzalo Tiesi (Stade Français)
    14 Gonzalo Camacho (Harlequins)
    15 Martín Rodírguez Gurruchaga (Stade Français)

  3. I agree, apart from I would still have Roncero, he still seems to be good, I saw him scrummage very well against Harlequins recently, but Ayerza is hardly much of a drop off, and he gives away less penalties.

    And I wouldn't have Campos there, I haven't actually seen him play a lot but I know he has been hardly getting a game for Agen or Montauban in the last 2 seasons, and has been released by Agen now.

    Alvaro Galindo though has been in the starting lineup for Racing-Métro who came second in the Top 14 so maybe he should be considered.

    Or perhaps one of the flankers from the successful Pampas XV side, Genaro Fessia or Miguel de Achával maybe.

    Also I would have Juan Imhoff for Camacho, although Camacho has done well for Harlequins lately, I want a more powerful winger.

    The Pumas should not have Marcelo Bosch in the team however, as against Ireland in November he dropped the ball over and over again.