Monday, August 22, 2011

Gabriel Ascárate close to joining Lyon

The spin-offs for young Argentine players from the 2011 Vodacom Cup in South Africa continue as the Los Pampas XV´ outside centre, Gabriel Ascárate, has been approached by Lyon OU to play as a professional at the top level in France, the Top 14. Ascárate is close to signing with the club but confirmation has been delayed due to the players current involvement with Los Pumas who are to play agaisnt the Worcester Warriors tommorrow in England with Ascárate listed to play at inside centre depsite having been left out of the Argentina squad for Rugby World Cup 2011. Earlier today, he confirmed with Argentine site, that he has talked to Lyon´s coaches but cannot confirm that a decision has been made due to his involvement with the Pumas squad at present. But his move to Lyon OU seems to be set to be confirmed as he, himself, said that he is highly interested and that it seems to be an excellent opportunity. He would play alongside Argentine international backrower, Juan Manuel Leguizamón who has been assisting Ascárate who has been helping him through the process.

Gabriel Ascárate has played three tests for Argentina since making his test debut as a 20 year old vs Chile in december 2007 in San Juan.  He scored a try on debut and scored another in 2010 against the same opponent. His other test was vs Uruguay in 2008 but played for Los Pumas in a non-international vs the French Barbarians in June 2011. The 23 year old has also played Rugby Sevens for Argentina including playing in the IRB Sevens World Series tournaments in the USA, Hong Kong and Australia in 2008 and in England and Scotland in 2009. He won his place after strong performances for the Argentina under 19 team in 2006 and also the Argentine under 21 side. He has also made appearances for both Los Jaguares and Argentina A against opposition including Ireland, Namibia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Tonga A and the United States of America.

He began playing his rugby in the Northern Argentine city of Tucumán for the Natación y Gimnasia club. He was a national champion after helping Tucumán win the 2010 Campeonato Argentino Final vs Rosario. He scored a try for Tucumán in the 19-13 victory. He then went on to play for Los Pampas XV in South Africa´s Vodacom Cup in 2011 before being prefered to European based professionals for a place in the Los Pumas training squad for New Zealand 2011.

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