Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Stars since 2007 - Lucas González Amorosino

At this years Rugby Wordl Cup Argentina are going to field a very different squad of player to that which finished third in Rugby World Cup 2007. The squad retains a significant number of players from France 2007 but it also includes a large amount of new stars who have coem through the system in Argentina and made their international debut´s for Los Pumas in the years since 2007. One such player is 25 year old wing / fullback, Lucas González Amorosino who made his international debut two months after Rugby World Cup 2007 while playing as an amateur in Buenos Aires for Pucará. González Amorosino, like the other young backs included in the squad, is a professional rugby player who has already played a big role in Europe. He scored the only try for the Leicester Tigers in the teams historical 22-17 victory over World Champions, South Africa in 2009.

González Amorosino´s path to becoming a professional player is similar to that of many of the young backs who will wear Pumas colors in New Zealand 2011. He made his mark playing Rugby Sevens for Los Pumas. In total, González Amorosino player in fifteen IRB Rugby Sevens tournaments from 2007-2009 and built himself a reputation of being a speedster. He earned the nickname Speedy González and was a part of the Argentine team that won the USA leg of the 2009 IRB World Sevens circuit and the side which finished second in the 2009 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Dubai. He earned his place in the Argentine Rugby Sevens team after having played for Buenos Aires province and even for Los Pumas. Despite having already made his international debut it was his time playing Rugby Sevens for Argentina which made him into a talented player. His success playing Rugby Sevens tournaments for Argentina was what attracted the interests of European clubs and the Argentine selectors as he was selected to play at the elite level vs England in 2009 ahead of European professionals.

González Amorosino made his international debut vs Chile in december 2007 in San Juan. The side selected was not the first choice Pumas side at all as it took place outside of the IRB test windows. González Amorosino had a successful debut in scoring a try as a replacement winger as Los Pumas completed a 79-8 victory. Eleven months latter, González Amorosino made his second test appearance, also vs Chile but this time in Santiago. González Amorosino scored a try in Argentina´s 71-3 victory this time playing as the sides starting fullback. With the creation of the PladAR prgram, González Amorosino became a semi professional player in Argentina and went on to play for Los Jaguares vs Namibia in May 2009. His impressive form combined with his success´s playing Rugby Sevens for Argentina saw him selected in the squad to face England in June. His big moment came as Argentina hosted England in Salta with González Amorosino included on the bench. Veteran Pumas winger, Francisco Leonelli had been named on the right wing and started the match only to get injured in the 12th minute of play and be replaced by the then 23 year old, Lucas González Amorosino who took his chance and formed a good back-three with Horacio Agulla at fullback and Gonzalo Camacho on the other wing.

González Amorosino´s performance vs England confirmed him in the future plans of Argentina but he would miss the November tour of Europe with a fractured leg he picked up playing for Leicester in november before the tour had officially started. He had joined Leicester on a two year deal for 2009-2011 following the match in Salta. The injury, however, altered his season greatly as his form had been such that, despite only recently joining the club, he was a regular in the Tigers team. He recovered in time to be match fit to play for Argentina in the home series vs Scotland and France in June 2010 and after impressing vs France he would go on to start on the left wing in Argentina´s November internationals vs Italy, France and Ireland.

His 2010-2011 season for Leicester was not so impressive however as the club opted to play other squad members ahead of him. The decision had more to do with law than anything else as the Kolpak ruling limits the number of foreign players allowed in English Premiership teams. But some countries of note such as Fiji, Samoa, South Africa and Tonga do not qualify as foreign. He consequently recived little game time for Leicester and decided to look elsewhere and was signed to play in France for Montpellier on a two year deal starting after Rugby World Cup 2011. He is to link up with five other Pumas players at the club and is certain to recieve increased game time and have the opportunity of showing just how talented he is. He´ll combine in the back-three with Martín Bustos Moyano who had a dream debut season with Montpellier as the team finished second in the Top 14, for the first time in history. As of August 2011, Lucas González Amorosino has played ten tests, scoring two tries. His place in Rugby World Cup 2011 is confirmed but the competition for places in the back-three with competition coming from Agulla, Bustos Moyano, Camacho and Rodríguez mean there are no guarantees as Argentina today has a highly attacking set of outside backs which are far more dangerous than the list from France 2007.

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