Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Matias Cortese - Gloucester bound
Three time capped Argentine hooker, Matias Cortese, is to be playing in the Aviva Premiership next season for Gloucester. It marks a return of Cortese to English rugby after previously playing five matches for the Northampton Saints in 2007. He joins from Argentina where he played part of the 2011 Vodacom Cup with Los Pampas XV before being left due to personal problems. Cortese, despite being aged only 25, has also previously played professionally in France for Top 14 sides Bayonne and Biarritz. Despit being a professional player from a young age, Cortese has been unable to break into the Pumas squad and will not feature at Rugby World Cup 2011. This, no doubt, was a motivating factor for Gloucester in signing him as they can get more use out of him.
He has, however, played three test matches for Argentina. His international debut came in December 2005 vs Samoa as a replacement. Los Pumas were without European based professionals due to the match taking place outside the IRB test window and as such Cortese was given an opportunity to impress. Six other players made their debuts´ including Horacio Agulla and Nicolas Vergallo. His opther two test matches came in 2010 vs Chile and Uruguay when he was picked as the starting hooker. He is not one of the favored Pumas hookers but his contract with Gloucester will be his biggest chance in years to change this.