Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pan American Games Rugby Sevens - Preview Argentina

With the groundbreaking participation of rugby in the Pan American Games less than ten days away it is appopriate that Argentina 2023 take a look at the teams competiting. Thus, today marks the first look of the eight teams who will pfight it out for the Gold Medal in Guadalajara, Mexico on October 29 and 30 at the purpose built Estadio Tlaquepaque. The eight competing teams are split into two Pools of four with both having teams from the CONSUR (South America) and NACRA (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) governing bodies. Pool A is led by the Argentina who should have few problems in coming out on top against Guyana, Mexico and Uruguay. Pool B is led by favorites, Argentina who will face Brazil, Canada and Chile in pool play.

To begin the previews of the teams playing at the the Pan American Games it is only appopriate to take a look at the heavyweights, Argentina. The South American country is a powerhouse at Rugby Sevens having finished second in the 2009 World Cup in Dubai, being a two time winner of the USA leg of the IRB international Rugby Sevens circuit and winning Bronze at the 2005 World Games in Duisburg. Many of the players from the 2009 Sevens World Cup have gone on to national honors at the highest level with the likes of Lucas González Amorosino, Gonzalo Camacho, Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga, all playing for Los Pumas at Rugby World Cup 2011. Rugby Sevens is a factory for international stardom and, for this reason, the lack of players who played for Los Pumas in New Zealand 2011 is not of grave concern as a number of the players selected for the Pan American Games are likely to go on to higher honors themselves. Curiously the USA are undefeated vs Argentina over the past two years and Argentina were defeated by Brazil earlier in 2011 in Bento Gonçalves, Brazil. The shock loss to Brazil mattered not, however, as Argentina recovered to win the South American Sevens championship.

The key players for Argentina are likely to be centre Gabriel Ascárate and scrumhalf Nicolás Bruzzone. Both players were key to Los Pampas XV in the teams championship winning season in South Africa´s Vodacom Cup earlier in 2011. Ascárate is highly regarded in Argentina, almost making the final squad for Rugby World Cup 2011. Bruzzone has played for Los Pumas previously and is considered as the fifth choice scrumhalf at the present point in time.

Argentina Squad

Lucas Alcacer Mackinlay
Gabriel Ascárate
Santiago Bottini
Nicolás Bruzzone
Francisco Cuneo
Ezequiel Farale
Gonzalo Gutiérrez Taboada
Joaquin Luchetti
José Francisco Merello
Hernán Olivari
Javier Ortega Desio
Diego Palma
Gastón Revol

2009 USA Sevens Final

2009 World Cup Final

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