Every World Cup is a big opportunity for players from amateur clubs to be noticed and earn a deal at a professional club, and this recent World Cup has proved no exception. The latest player to have earned a deal is Leonardo Senatore, who after a potential deal with the Premiership basement dwellers Newcastle fell through due to Visa problems in the summer, has signed with French giants Toulon.
|Senatore running past McCaw in the|
World Cup quarter final
Senatore, aged 27, had been around the Pumas setup a while and has regularly been a member of the Pampas XV and Jaguars sides without getting a call up to the senior squad. His major breakthrough came at the World Cup, where he did a great job filling in for the injured Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, what in particular I imagine would have attracted Toulon to him was his role in setting up Argentina’s try against New Zealand, beating Richie McCaw with a dummy before offloading to support in what was one of the tries of tournament.
As mentioned above his chance came at the misfortune of the Pumas vice captain and star player Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, who suffered a long term injury after the victory against Scotland, this injury has now given Senatore a chance at club and international level. Senatore’s now gives Pumas coach Santiago Phelan the option playing Senatore at 8 and playing Fernández Lobbe at flanker where he was so effective whilst Longo played 8.
At Toulon, his competition in the back row will be formidable, Fernández Lobbe and former Springbok Joe van Niekerk, but with the former out for 6 months and the latter also suffering from continuous minor injury problems, he should have a good chance to play regularly for the Toulonnais which can only do him and the Pumas good in the long term.