Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Argentina Players in England - London Wasps

Despite all of the world´s attention being focused on New Zealand with Rugby World Cup 2011 going on, professional rugby is in full-swing too. England´s Premier League, the Aviva Premiership started on September 03. The Rugby World Cup involves six players from Argentina who play professional rugby in the Aviva Premiership. One plays for Italy and five for Los Pumas. The coming weeks will feature a look into each of the English sides with Argentina players.

As one of the most successful teams in the history of English rugby, the London Wasps are a team to watch out for this season. The club has won both the English and European Championships and has an impressive playing roster which suggests it should do a lot better than in the 2010-2011 season. London Wasps has a history dating back to 1867 as the Wasps Football Club began at the now defunct Eton and Middlesex Tavern in North London. The club plays the majority of its matches at Adams Park, which is located in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire but also plays some games at the home of English Rugby, Twickenham. The club is one of four London sides in the Aviva Premiership but has the best record of all four as none of the Harlequins, London Irish and Harlequins have won both the English Premiership and European Cup. 

In the past decade alone the London Wasps have won all of the major European Championships on at least one occassion. The club has won the Aviva Premiership (then known as the Guinness Premiership), the Anglo-Welsh competition, the LV= Cup, the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup. In total the London Wasps have won the Aviva Premiership on six occassions - in 1990, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008. The club lost the 2007 Final to the Leicester Tigers but responded by defeating the same club in the Heineken Cup Final the following weekend. The Wasps were also Heineken Cup Champions in 2004 and won the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2006.

The club played below these high standards lastseason with a dreadful showing which included more losses than wins. This has resulted in the club recuiting hard for this season. Of the new players at the club, two are from Argentina with the pair of prop Guillermo Roan and backrower Genaro Fessia both having joined the club from Argentine teams. Fessia was playing for Córdoba Athletic and Roan for La Plata. Both players were a part of the Championship Winning Los Pampas XV who were undefeated in the 2011 Vodacom Cup in South Africa. Roan´s contract is his first ever as a professional player while Fessia is back in England after having previously played for the Sale Sharks. He made his debut in a pre-season match against Italian side, Benetton Treviso before subsequently being called up to replace the injured Alvaro Galindo in Argentina´s squad for Rugby World Cup 2011.

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