Sunday, July 31, 2011
In the brief two year history of Los Pampas XV the side has conquered the Vodacom Cup and has produced many international and professional players. Names including Agustín Creevy, Guillermo Roan, Nahuel Tetz Chaparro, Maximiliano Bustos, Agustín Figuerola, Nicolás Sánchez, Santiago Fernández, Martín Bustos Moyano and Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga have all gone on to secure professional contracts with top level English and French sides. The number just keeping getting bigger with news that 21 year old uncapped Argentine fullback, Joaquín Tuculet, has signed a one year contract to play at the top level in England for the Sale Sharks. He joins the English giants from Club de Rugby Los Tilos in La Plata, Argentina. Tuculet was a regular in Los Pampas XV in the 2011 Vodacom Cup and was the champion sides first choice fullback throughout the campaign. The former club of Los Pumas vice captain, Juan Fernández Lobbe, are in a rebuilding phase after stuggling in the 2010-2011 season and are looking to return to the glory that saw them win the Premiership in 2006.
Capable of playing fullback or centre, Tuculet at only 21 years of age could well be starting out what could be a long professional career. He is a player who has come through the ranks of Argentine rugby. After Los Pampas XV won the Vodacom Cup, Tuculet was selected for Los Jaguares (Argentina A) for the IRB Nations Cup in Romania and was the teams fullback. Tuculet played for Argentina in the 2009 IRB Junior World Championship in Japan and featured for Los Pumitas in matches vs Fiji, Ireland, New Zealand and Uruguay as the teams fullback.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Of the ten teams in this years competition there are a total of six different states represented. the competition will take place from July through November and have a full set of play-off matches starting with Quarter Finals in September. Previously the competition was structured so that the team with the most points on the ladder was champion. São Paulo state is providing half of the tournaments teams with São José being accompanies by four teams from São Paulo city - SPAC, Pasteur, Bandeirantes and Rio Branco. They will be joined by Niterói from Rio de Janeiro state, Farrapos from Rio Grande do Sul, Desterro from Santa Catarina, UniBrasil/Curitiba from Paraná and Belo Horizonte from Minas Gerais. In other words Brazil's six southern most states are all represented with São Paulo being the epicentre.
The teams have been divided into two groups with the four best from each group to advance to the Quarter Finals. The groups have been named the Green and the Yellow groups to replicate Brazil´s official national colours. The Green Group will consist of Bandeirantes, Belo Horizonte, Desterro, Pasteur and UniBrasil/Curitiba. Bandeirantes will have a bye in the first round. The yellow group will have Farrapos, Niteroí, Rio Branco, São José and SPAC.
July 30 Belo Horizonte vs Desterro
July 30 Pasteur vs UniBrasil/Curitiba
July 30 São José vs Farrapos
July 30 SPAC vs Rio Branco
August 13 Desterro vs Bandeirantes
August 13 UniBrasil/Curitiba vs Belo Horizonte
August 13 Niterói vs São José
August 13 Farrapos vs Rio Branco
August 20 Bandeirantes vs UniBrasil/Curitiba
August 20 Belo Horizonte vs Pasteur
August 20 Rio Branco vs Niterói
August 20 Farrapos vs SPAC
September 03 Desterro vs Pasteur
September 03 Bandeirantes vs Belo Horizonte
September 03 São José vs SPAC
September 03 Niterói vs Farrapos
September 10 UniBrasil/Curitiba vs Desterro
September 10 Pasteur vs Bandeirantes
September 10 São José vs Rio Branco
September 10 SPAC vs Niterói
September 24 Quarter Finals
November 05 Semi Finals
November 19 Final & Bronze Final
The Super 10 is sponsored by Topper, Heineken, Bradesco and Deloitte and also recieves support from the CCR group, Cremer and Gatorade.
Friday, July 29, 2011
The Rock enter as favorites as 2010 champions and also after a successful warm-up period which included a win in Argentina vs Argentine province Salta.
British Colombia Bears: 1. Rhodri Hanmer, 2. Ryan Hamilton, 3. John MacKenzie, 4. Nathan Mantle, 5. Liam Chisholm, 6. Josh Clarke, 7. Adam Kleeberger, 8. Aaron Goddard, 9. Eric Wilson, 10. Nathan Hirayama, 11. Esava Nakulanisa, 12. Josefa Dolesau, 13. Conor Trainor, 14. Shawn Mercier, 15. Connor Braid
Reserves: 16. Anthony Luca, 17. Some Mosogau 18. Scott Mackay, 19. Taylor Stogryn, 20. Michael McDonald, 21. Ben Thomson, 22. Johnathan Morris
The Rock: 1.Frank Walsh 2. Peter Densmore 3. Rod Snow 4. Sean O’Leary 5. Jon Phelan 6. Toni Wodzicki 7. Kevin Parfrey 8. Zac Coughlan, 9. Morgan Williams 10. Dean Blanks 11. Rob Wilson 12. Tyler Wish 13. Geoff Warden 14. Rob Turk 15. Morgan Lovell
Reserves – 16. Steve Cutliffe 17. Owen Parfrey 18. Chris Burt 19. Justin Meyers 20. Mike Simpson 21. Patrick Parfrey 22. Jason Picco
Meanwhile the mission also begins on Saturday for the Prarie Wolfpack and Ontario Blues as trhey go head to head at Calgary Rugby Park. There is plenty of reason for spectators to turn up in big numbers as the match will also feature a lot of players who have been named in Canada´s squad for New Zealand 2011. Former French based player, Ryan Smith will captain the Prarie Wolfpack and will be joined by fellow internationals Nanyak Dala, Hubert Buydens, Scott Franklin, Andrew Tiedemann and Jeremy Kyne in the starting lineup. Up against them will be the exciting young 18 year old winger, Taylor Paris for Ontario.
Ontario Blues: 1.Tom Dolezel, 2. Dan Pletch, 3. Doug Wooldridge, 4. Brett Beukeboom, 5. Scott Dunham, 6. Tyler Ardron, 7. Alistair Clark, 8. Seb Pearson, 9. Kyle Armstrong, 10. Steve Piatek, 11. Taylor Paris, 12. Dan West, 13. Conor McCann, 14. Ryan Macsween, 15. Craig Marshall
Reserves: M Pletch, C Johnston, Rob Brouwer, M Macsween, R Tomlinson, J Wilson-Ross, M Mitchell
Thursday, July 28, 2011
In an interview with Argentine website, www.ambito.com, The chairman of the subcommittee on high-performance UAR, Manuel Galindo, talked about various of what are the key issues facing the UAR in terms of the present and future of rugby in Argentina. Manuel Galindo is the father of Argentine international backrower and Racing Metro star, Alvaro Galindo.
In order for Argentine rugby to kick on and indeed be successful in the future, Galindo says that the UAR intends to sign players to play for Argentina, as permitted by Article 3 of the IRB charter. He suggests that after France 2007, , the French realized that the Argentine players were starters in French Top 14 Orange teams and their players were substitutes and so there has since been a move to limit the entry of foreigners. The same thing has happened in the U.K. For this reason, Argentina needs to give players international experience and to have them contracted to the UAR.
Galindo contends that the Vodacom Cup is a positive start but Argentina needs to move on. In his view the Vodacom Cup was useful to demonstrate that with serious work, Argentina rugby can achieve significant results. The tournament, however, is complicated in large part due to the cost which is very high and was not self-financing. Argentina needs to have a tournament that is is self-financing. For Galindo, the UAR must make money from means beyond Los Pumas´ matches. He points out that the UAR wants to generate revenue by seizing on the Puma Phenomenon. Of the UAR´s total budget 35% goes to rugby base and in the country there are 250 elite players with around 100,000 players in total. Argentina has a budget of around 10 million pesos while England, in comparison, has one of 170 million pounds.
With Thanks: www.ambito.com
Interview with former coach, Marcelo Loffreda about Los Pampas XV, Argentina Rugby and PladAR.
Four days after playing its first match of Rugby World Cup 2011 Italy had its second match of the tournament against European rivals, Romania. Like the Italians opening fixture the match took place at the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles and received a positive crowd of 44,000. Italy fielded a strong but tired side for the must win encounter which included five players from Argentina. Martín Castrogiovanni, Santiago Dellapé, Sergio Parisse, Ramiro Pez and Gonzalo Canale were all in the starting lineup and it would be the secondrower, Dellapé who was the hero as he scored one of Italy´s two tries with the other being a penalty try. Romania were more competitive than expected in no small part due to the fixtures list which had Romania playing its first match vs Italy who were playing for the second time in five days. The 24-18 win meant Italy were one from two and needed to defeated Portugal and Scotland to advance to the knock-out stages.
Dellapé will not play in New Zealand 2011 after retiring from international rugby following the completion of the French Top 14 season. Dellapé will continue playing for Racing Metro, with whom he has been with sicne 2009. He previously played Agen, Biarritz and Toulon after arriving in France in 2004 following four years of professional rugby in Italy with L´Aquila and Treviso. His decade long reign as a professional player has been very impressive since leaving La Plata. He won the Italian championship with Treviso in 2004 and played in the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cup´s for Italy. One thing remains unfulfilled, however, as Dellapé will be looking for a Top 14 or Heineken Cup title with Racing Metro.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
English Premiership club, London Irish have announced the signature of Canadian international backrower, Jebb Sinclair for the 2011-2012 season. The 25 year old Canadian will join club after Rugby World Cup 2011 where he is expected to feature heavily for Canada in the number 6 shirt. Sinclair joins the elite level English side from The Rock, with whom he featured in last years Canadian Rugby Championship. Sinclair was one of Canada´s best performers in the competition and went on to play in Wales for RGC1404 as one of eight Canadians in the side.
Sinclair has been capped 15 times for Canada since making his international debut in 2008 vs Portugal. He was an important player for the North Americans in last months Churchill Cup campaign in which Canada finished second behind the England Saxons. The London Irish official website lists Sinclair as being defensively very solid and points out that he produced one of the best defensive moments of the Churchill Cup when he chased down Russian Vasily Artemyev to make a try saving tackle when the winger looked certain to score. Sinclair formed an outstanding 6-7 combination with Chauncey O´Toole and the pair will have a lot to do with how Canada perform in New Zealand 2011.
With Thanks: www.london-irish.com
His international call up came at the age of 21 and followed his rise through the ranks of Argentine rugby. Ayerza had played for the under 19 and under 21 Argentina teams, including at both the 2003 and 2004 under 21 World Championships. He also made the Buenos Aires Select team before being selected for Argentina A in 2004. The next two years would see his go from a Buenos Aires club loosehead prop to a world class player. He won three international caps in 2005, including his first international try vs Japan in April. After impressing in 2005 he had attracted interest from European clubs and signed a contract to play in England for the Leicester Tigers. he would arrive at the club in 2006 after playing international matches vs Wales and Chile. With Rodrigo Roncero out with a broken jaw Ayerza was selected to start at loosehead prop vs England in November 2006 and his performance was nothing less than a huge success. It underlined his abilities and his future as one of the leading players in the game.
Ayerza played three further tests in 2006 as he went up against Uruguay, Italy and France and also started both tests vs Ireland in June 2007. His form saw him included in Argentina´s squad for France 2007 and we went on to play two matches, vs Georgia and the Bronze Final vs France as coach Marcelo Loffreda opted to field an experienced frontrow combination of Rodrigo Roncero, Mario Ledesma and Martín Scelzo. After Argentina´s impressive campaign at Rugby World Cup 2007, Ayerza went on to play six tests the following year. Considered to be a loosehead prop by the new Pumas coach, Santiago Phelan, Ayerza started two tests only and was a bench replacement for the other fixtures with Phelan selecting Pedro Ledesma and Juan Pablo Orlandi to play tighthead prop in place of the injured Martín Scelzo and the retired Omar Hasan.
In 2009, Ayerza began the year as a replacement but after Orlandi was outplayed in the first test vs England, Ayerza was selected at tighthead prop with Roncero playing loosehead. The result was encouraging as Argentina defeated England in Salta with the scrum performing significantly better and Ayerza impressing with his performance in general. Martín Scelzo returned from injury to take his place at 3 for Argentina in the November internationals vs England, Wales and Scotland which meant Ayerza was on the bench with Roncero playing looshead prop. However, after impressing off the bench, Ayerza was prefered at loosehead prop for the match vs Scotland and there was no coincidence that Los Pumas had a superior scrum. Roncero regained his place for all of Argentina´s matches in 2010 but when Ayerza was on the field it was clear that the Pumas were scrumaging better and lost nothing in mobility around the park. As such it is only logical to suggest that Ayerza should be Argentina´s first choice loosehead prop for New Zealand 2011. Roncero is six years older than Ayerza and lacks the endurance that he previously had. Ayerza, in contrast is an 80 minute player who offers more to his side starting than by coming off the bench. As of July 2010, Marcos Ayerza has played 32 international test matches for Argentina and it is likely that this total will more than double before his time is up playing international rugby for Argentina.
Upon arriving at English powerhouses, the Leicester Tigers in 2006 Ayerza quickly established himself as the teams leading loosehead prop. During his time at Leicester, Ayerza, has improved as a player and has left his mark on English rugby. In his first season he reached the Heineken Cup Final as Leicester faced English rivals, London Wasps at Twickenham. Leicester were defeated but Ayerza tasted glory the same month as the Tigers reversed the result in defeating London Wasps in the English Premiership Final, then known as the Guinness Premiership. The following year, Ayerza was a finalist in the Guinness Premiership as the Tigers were defeated by the London Wasps with former Pumas coach, Marcelo Loffreda in charge of Leicester. Ayerza went on to win the Guinness Premiership Final in 2009 and 2010 as the Tigers defeated London Irish and Saracens to win back-to-back titles. The clubs run came to an end in 2011 as Saracens knocked over Leicester to win its first ever English Championship, now known as the Aviva Premiership. Ayerza was also a Heineken Cup finalist for the second time in 2009 when the Tigers lost the final vs Irish side, Leinster at Murrayfield in Scotland.
His impressive record of playing for Leicester in five English Premiership Finals and two Heineken Cup Finals has seen Marcos Ayerza play well over 100 matches of top flight rugby for Leicester. Ayerza played 25 Aviva Premiership matches for Leicester in the 2010-2011 season, mostly alongside fellow Argentine prop, Martín Castrogiovanni who, despite being born in Argentina, is an Italian international prop. The pair have long term contracts with Leicester and form the best scrum in England. Both will feature at Rugby World Cup 2011 with Ayera highly likely to take over the Pumas #1 shirt from the long serving Rodrigo Roncero as Ayerza can offer more endurance, field presence and superior scrumaging. 2011 could be the year in which not only the English rugby public, but the world talk of Ayerza as being the best in the game.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Barbieri was retained by Benetton Treviso and went on to have a successful debut season in what was known as the Magners League. He was an important player for the side in what was a highly successful debut season which included wins over teams such as the Scarlets, Connacht, Munster, Leinster, the Glasgow Warriors, Aironi and the Newport-Gwent Dragons. His form saw him recalled to the Italian side where he filled the boots of the world class Italian backrower, Mauro Bergamasco for the November internationals vs Argentina, Australia and Fiji and then the Six Nations in February and March.
Barbieri decided to represent Italy after moving to the country from Toronto in 2003. He moved to be a professional rugby player after previously playing in Toronto for Yeomen from 2000–2003. His Italian debut came in 2006 vs Japan as Italy impressed in winning 52-6. Coincidently his brother, Michael Barbieri, debuted on the same day for Canada vs England which was played in Toronto. Barbieri went on to be selected for Rugby World Cup 2007 but missed out due to injury. He returned to face South Africa in Cape Town in 2008 but was subsequently dropped and only made the team again to replace Mauro Bergamasco in 2010. In his second game back he scored a try vs Australia as a replacement. His place in the team now appears certain following impressive performances in the wins over Fiji and France.
Monday, July 25, 2011
The New South Wales city of Gosford was the setting for one of the best games from Rugby World Cup 2003 as the USA took on Japan in a pool match. Both sides had been impressive in the tournament, but winless. The Cherry Blossoms had played well vs both France and Scotland and came close on both occassions. The USA, on the other hand, missed a full time conversion kick at goal which cost them an historical Rugby World Cup victory over the high Flying Fijians. The USA thus entered the match as favorites and indeed came out on top as they competed a 39-26 win over the Japanese. Early on it was all the USA as Japan conceeded 14 early points but they fought back well to trail by just a single point early in the second half. With ten minutes remaning it was still a one point game until Riaan van Zyl scored a late try which flyhalf Mike Hercus converted to put the North Americans clear.
The match was highly entertaining with a total of seven tries being scored but it was perhaps most notable for the outstanding defense from the USA Eagles with two players in particular putting in a number of big hits throughout the game. The USA backrow stood tall with captain Dave Hodges and Number 8 Dan Lyle well and truely leaving their mark on the opposition.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
There are already two Pumas in the all time Rugby World Cup Dream XV in scrumhalf Agustín Pichot and tighthead prop, Omar Hasan. Will there be a third? You can vote. Simply enter the Total Rugby Page on either the Twitter on Facebook social network to register your vote.
Dream XV Thus Far
14 David Campese (Australia)
12 Tim Horan (Australia)
9 Agustín Pichot (Argentina)
8 Zinzan Brooke (New Zealand)
7 Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
5 Victor Matfield (South Africa)
3 Omar Hasan (Argentina)
Saturday, July 23, 2011
In only the tournaments third year of existence, Argentina was selected as the host nation in a move to underline Argentina´s credentials as a future Rugby World Cup host. Argentina hosted the event in region of the Entre Rios and Santa Fé provinces located north west of Buenos Aires. There were three host venues including Santa Fé City´s Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao López stadium (32,500), the Club Atlético Estudiantes (16,740) in Paraná and the Estadio Newell's Old Boys (39,121) in Rosario. The attendances were positive with the crowds of the opening weekend breaking records set in earlier tournaments. The host nation finished in sixth place with New Zealand winning the event.
Below the IRB Junior World Championship is another, the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy, which features eight teams to, like the Rugby World Cup, bring the total number of competing sides up to 20 teams. The inaugural tournament also took place in 2008 and South America was selected to host with the eevnt taking place in Sanitago, Chile. The tournament was won by Uruguay who defeated Chile 20-8 in the final to underline the potential that exists in South American rugby. The onfield success of South American sides in the Junior World Championship and Junior World Trophy combined with the successful hosting of the tournaments themselves provide further encouragement for Argentina 2023 to become a reality.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Mallet has opted for a squad of 16 forwards and 14 backs on his quest to lead Italy to the Quarter Finals for the first time in history. It will not be an easy task but is certainly a realistic goal and Italy know what heartbreak feels like after being eliminated after to Scotland in 2007, who failed to score a try. Mallet has been praised for changing Italy from a forward dominated side to one with more width and certainly more attacking flair. His triumph in Rome over France in the 2010 Six Nations will never be forgotten. He has, however, lost the services of his number one flyhalf, Craig Gower who has had to withdraw from New Zealand 2011 due to a knee injury. The responsibilities will fall on Argentine, Luciano Orquera with Riccardo Bocchino covering on the bench.
Italy will have matches vs Japan and Scotland in August in what is to be the teams final preparation. Italy is in Pool C competing against Australia, Ireland, Russia and the United States for a place in the final eight. The campaign commences on September 11 vs Australia in North Harbour and climaxes on October 02 vs Ireland in Dunedin.
Italy Rugby World Cup Build-Up Schedule
August 13 Italy vs Japan, Cesena
August 20 Scotland vs Italy, Edinburgh
Rugby World Cup Matches
September 11 Italy vs Australia, North Harbour
September 20 Italy vs Russia, Nelson
September 27 Italy vs USA, Nelson
October 02 Italy vs Ireland, Dunedin
Italy squad for the Rugby World Cup
Lorenzo Cittadini (Treviso)
Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing-Métro, France)
Salvatore Perugini (Aironi)
Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso)
Tommaso D’Apice (Roma)
Fabio Ongaro (Aironi)
Quintin Geldenhuys (Aironi)
Cornelius Van Zyl (Treviso)
Robert Julian Barbieri (Treviso)
Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Français, France)
Paul Derbyshire (Treviso)
Alessandro Zanni (Treviso)
Martín Castrogiovanni (Leicester, England)
Marco Bortolami (Aironi)
Carlo Antonio Del Fava (Aironi)
Sergio Parisse (Stade Français, France)
Pablo Canavosio (Aironi)
Fabio Semenzato (Treviso)
Riccardo Bocchino (Aironi)
Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso)
Gonzalo Garcia (Treviso)
Luke McLean (Treviso)
Matteo Pratichetti (Aironi)
Giulio Toniolatti (Aironi)
Luciano Orquera (Aironi)
Edoardo Gori (Treviso)
Mirco Bergamasco (Racing-Métro, France)
Gonzalo Canale (Clermont, France)
Andrea Masi (Racing-Métro, France)
Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso)
The professional career of Pablo Huerte is underway as the Chilean international secondrower has played both matches for the Tasman Makos in the first two rounds of the 2011 ITM Cup in New Zealand. Huerte made his debut for the Makos on Saturday in an away match vs Northland in which the homeside were too strong in winning the match 19-9. Huerte was a secondhalf replacement, coming on in the 68th minute. The team then had to back up merely three days latter with a second away match vs North Harbour on Tuesday. North Harbour scored five second half tries to run away with a 39-15 win with Tasman guilty of turning over too much possession. Huerte started in the secondrow and had a solid match which should see him retain his place for Tasman´s round three match vs Counties Manukau on Sunday at the home of Tasman Makos, Lansdowne Park in Blenheim.
The tournament is being played in a rushed manner so that it can finish on August 28 due to the Rugby World Cup which starts on September 9 and will use all fo the countries premier stadiums.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
The Eagles last played Canada in 2009 as part of the RWC qualifying process, winning the first clash 12-6, and going down 41-18 in the second. Canada is currently ranked 16th on the IRB world rankings, one place ahead of the USA. Japan has improved tremendously over the last few years, moving into 12th place on the IRB world rankings and are intending on leaving a mark at New Zealand 2011. All three international matches will be broadcast live in the United States on USA Rugby's broadcast partner, NBC Universal.
One important omission from the squad is San Francisco Golden Gate lock Samu Manoa, who has signed a professional contract with English Premiership Club, Northampton Saints and will not feature at New Zealand 2011. A clause in his contract prevents him from playing at Rugby World Cup 2011. The USA Eagles squad consists of 18 forwards and 18 backs, and is boosted by the availability of several professionals that did not take part in the recent Churchill Cup such as Taku Ngwenya, Hayden Smith and Chris Wyles.
USA EAGLES Build-Up Squad
Iñaki Basauri (L' Aquila, Italy)
Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate)
Todd Clever (Suntory Sungoliath, Japan)
Pat Danahy (Life University)
Cameron Dolan (Life University)
Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks)
JJ Gagiano (Univ. of Cape Town, South Africa)
Nic Johnson (Unattached)
Will Johnson (London Welsh, England)
Scott LaValla (Stade Francais, France)
Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie, England)
Brian McClenahan (Olympic Club)
Mate Moeakiola (Bobigny 93, France)
Shawn Pittman (London Welsh, England)
Hayden Smith (Saracens, England)
Louis Stanfill (Mogliano, Italy)
Phil Thiel (Life University)
John van der Giessen (Utah Warriors)
Paul Emerick (Life University)
Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore)
Troy Hall (New York Athletic Club)
Colin Hawley (Olympic Club)
Nese Malifa (Glendale)
Taku Ngwenya (Biarritz, France)
Mike Palefau (Utah Warriors)
James Paterson (Highlanders, New Zealand)
Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club)
Blaine Scully (University of California - Berkeley)
Robbie Shaw (Bristol, England)
Junior Sifa (Nottingham, England)
Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins)
Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby)
Kevin Swiryn (Agen, France)
Zack Test (Unattached)
Tim Usasz (Nottingham, England)
Chris Wyles (Saracens, England)
Rugby World Cup Build-Up Schedule
August 6, 2011, 2.00 P.M: Canada vs USA (BMO Field, Toronto, Canada)
August 10, 2011, 7.00 P.M: USA Select vs Glendale Raptors (Infinity Park, Glendale, CO)
August 13, 2011, 7.15 P.M: USA vs Canada (Infinity Park, Glendale, CO)
August 21, 2011, 6.00 P.M: Japan vs USA (Prince Chichbu Memorial Rugby Ground, Tokyo, Japan)
New Zealand 2011 SCHEDULE
September 11, 2011: USA vs. Ireland (New Plymouth)
September 15, 2011: USA vs. Russia (New Plymouth)
September 23, 2011: USA vs. Australia (Wellington)
September 27, 2011: USA vs. Italy (Nelson)
With Thanks: www.eaglesxv.com
The number of Argentine players in the French 14 continues to grow with the confirmation than Union Bordeaux-Bègles have signed 22 year old Pumas flyhalf, Nicolas Sanchez. The young Puma who is currently with the Pumas 39 man training squad in Buenos Aires will join the Bordeaux club on what is to be his first professional contract. Union Bordeaux-Bègles are to play in the Top 14 after winning promotion from the pro d2 and are in the process of setting up what looks to be a strong side. The club is also following in the footsteps of the big city teams in moving matches to large stadiums. The club has already confirmed that its five home matches vs Bayonne, Toulon, Racing-Métro, Clermont and Toulouse will all be played at the Stade Chaban-Delmas which hosted four matches at Rugby World Cup 2007. It is not yet known when he will arrive because of Rugby World Cup 2011. Should Sanchez be selected for the 2011 tournament he will arrive in Bordeaux in late October. Otherwise he will be available for the start of the season. His arrival in the Top 14 will see him team up with Argentine international winger Rafael Carballo who has been at the club since early 2010.
Sanchez joins the new boys in the Top 14 from Tucumán Lawn Tennis Club in the Northern Argentine city of Tucumán, his home town. He made his test debut in 2010 vs Uruguay and three days latter played his only other test so far, scoring 7 points against Chile. He was targeted at a young age and played for the Argentina under 20 team in 2008 before going on to play for Los Jaguares in 2009 and 2010. This led to his naming in the PladAR system and resulted in his big chance in the Vodacom Cup with Los Pampas XV in which Sanchez was the flyhalf throughout the campaign. He was subsequently named in the extended Pumas squad and was selected at flyhalf to play the second international match vs the French Barbarians in June in which he kicked six penalties.
CONSUR XV Squad
Emiliano Coria (Lince, Argentina)
Francisco Gómez Kodela (Belgrano Athletic, Argentina)
Francisco Deformes (Old Mackayan's, Chile)
Carlos Arboleya (Trebol, Uruguay)
Julio César Henrique Figalo "Panda" (Niterói, Brazil)
Sebastian Velarde-Alvarez Clark (Universidad de Lima, Peru)
Felipe Aranguren (CUBA, Argentina)
Hugo Schierano (Tala, Argentina)
Matias Cabrera, (Old Boys, Chile)
Ignacio Pasman (Champagnat, Argentina)
Lisandro Ahualli de Chazal (Universitario, Argentina)
Germán Suazo (Stade Français, Chile)
Luis Alfredo Zamora Petit (Universidad Central, Venezuela)
Santiago Méndez (SIC, Argentina)
Benjamin Madero (SIC, Argentina)
Lucas Rodrigues Duque "Tank" (São José, Brazil)
José Manuel Diosa Gomez (Gatos de Medellín, Colombia)
Alberto Román (PSG, Uruguay)
Lisandro Gómez Lopez (La Tablada, Argentina)
Lucas Leiva (Old Christian's Club, Uruguay)
Luna, Fernando (Cordoba Athletic, Argentina)
Felipe Brangier (PWCC, Chile)
Gastón Mieres (Lobos Rugby, Uruguay)
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The Rugby World Cup 2011 backline is to be noticably different to that of 2007 but not in a negative way. In 2007 the players selected for wing and fullback were a mixture of French and Argentine based players. Those based in Europe played for big clubs but were, generally speacking, not reciieving so much game time. The 2011 team differs greatly in that there are far more players across the backs playing for big European clubs and being used as first choice players. Despite only having played once for Argentina, Martín Bustos Moyano, is a certainty for the squad for New Zealand 2011. He made his international debut in November 2008 vs Chile but has since not represented his country. He was selected for Argentina in 2010 but missed out on selection for Los Pumas despite playing for Argentina A vs France. This is all set to change following an amazing rise from an amateur playing for Córdoba Athletic to finishing second with Montpellier in the French Top 14 in his first season playing abroad.
Like many of the new exciting players in the backs such as Gonzalo Camacho, Santiago Fernández, Agustín Figuerola, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino and Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga, Bustos Moyano came through the ranks by impressing at Rugby Sevens. This group of players are all European based professionals and should all be a part of the Los Pumas squad at Rugby World Cup 2011. All were amateur players until 2009 or 2010. Their stories are similar with success playing on the IRB World Sevens Circuit combined with playing for Los Jaguares (Argentina A) being the path to higher honors and a professional contract. Bustos Moyano played in twelve Rugby Sevens legs for Argentina from 2005-2009, including the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens when Argentina finished second.
With the introduction of the PladAR system in Argentina, Bustos Moyano was amongst the players selected to take part in the semi-professional program aimed at developing the next generation of Argentine international players. The players were, for the first time ever, paid and trained under significantly better conditions than previously. The preperation contributed to Los Jaguares´ results in 2009 with Bustos Moyano playing in wins over Georgia, Namibia, USA Select XV, BC Bears and Canada A. He played for Los Jagures in 2010 scoring a try vs France A to bring his total to 37 points in six appearances. It was, however, to be his performances playing for Los Pampas XV in the Vodacom Cup in 2010 that would change his career forever. After impressing in the South African competition, Bustos Moyano was signed to play for Montpellier.
Martín Bustos Moyano made his Top 14 Orange debut for Montpellier on August 28 in a derby vs neighbouring side, Perpignan the 2009 French Champions. He was selected as the teams starting left winger and was given the responsibility of being the goalkicker. The match was played in Perpignan, a place which is not Montpellier´s favorite place to visit. Bustos Moyano made an impressive debut in kicking two penalties and a conversion as Montpellier made history by winning the match 16-6. Montpellier hosted reigning Heineken Cup champions, Toulouse a mere four days latter and won the match 22-21. Bustos Moyano scored all 22 points for his team as he kicked five penalties and converted his own try. This put Montpellier on the top of the Top 14 table for the first time in the clubs history and cemented Bustos Moyano as the clubs left winger and he would hold onto the 11 shirt for the entire season.
Montpellier managed to qualify for the French Top 14 play-off´s, but only just as the team finished sxth to claim the final barrage spot and would face Castres in an away match with the winner going on the face Paris side, Racing Metro in a semi final clash in Marseille. Castres had been undefeated at home all season and were expected to book their place in the semi final. Montpellier, however, had other plans and Martín Bustos Moyano was key in kicking all 18 of his sides points as Montpellier defeated Castres 18-17 to book an historical Top 14 semi-final. The semi final on May 28 would test the resolve of Bustos Moyano as he had a difficult attempt at kicking a penalty goal from 39 metres in the 79th minute to win the match for Montpellier. It was a packed Stade Velodrome but Bustos Moyano stood up to show his potential in slotting the goal as Montpellier claimed a one point win to advance to the Top 14 Final to face Toulouse.
Bustos Moyano had made his mark in France. An unknown player, with only one international cap had contributed heavilly to getting Montpellier into the French club final for the first time ever and also in qualifying for the Heineken Cup for the first time ever. He was the third highest pointscorer in the Top 14 with 283 points , behind only Jonathan Wisniewski of Racing Metro and Romain Teulet of Castres. Bustos Moyano was thus the highest points scoring foreigner, surpassing Johnny Wilkinson. He went into the Top 14 Final alongside fellow Argentine internationals, Santiago Fernández and Juan Figallo looking to come away with the accomplishment of the century and midway through the second half Montpellier looked like winning the match. Toulouse, however mounted a comeback to win the game 15-10. Bustos Moyano contributed two points as he converted the games only try scored by Fijian international, Timoci Nagusa. Despite not winning the final, Bustos Moyano certainly attracted plenty of praise from his club, the international media and Argentine rugby authorities. He is set to be included in the Argentine squad for Rugby World Cup 2011 and begin what looms as being a long term international career.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Now sixteen players are confrirmed for the ground-breaking fixture to take place next month in the Argentine city of San Juan with the confirmation that José Manuel Diosa of Colombia will play for the CONSUR XV (South America XV) vs Argentina. Chile will have four players and three have been confirmed in the form of Germán Suazo (Stade Francais, Chile), Francisco Cabrera (Old Boys, Chile) and Francisco Deformes (Old Macks, Chile). Brazil will have two players with Lucas Duque (São José, Brazil) and Julio Cesar Figalo (Niteroi, Brazil) also both confirmed for the fixture. Argentina is to have ten players in the CONSUR XV side but noe so far have been named nor have any from Uruguay who are to have four players. The match is to be Argentina´s final home fixture before Rugby World Cup 2011.
José Manuel Diosa Diosa took up rugby four years ago after his mother had been spoken to by his high school directors about the possibility of expulsion. Diosa, like many taking up the sport in Colombia, comes from a poor background which in Colombia can be dangerous due to the crime rate and drug scene in his city of Medellin. He has not only succeeded in becoming a quality rugby player but is using his experience to act as a role model for the youth of Medellin.
Another Argentine prop will be playing professionally in France in the new season with news that 30 year old former Pumas prop, Matías Narváez has signed a contract to play in France´s second division, the Pro d2, for former French powerhouse side, Beziers. Noted for his scrummaging abilities, Narváez, joins the club in an attempt to bolster its frontrow as the French club looks to establish itself in the Pro d2 with the long term objective of an eventual return to the Top 14. Narváez is the second Argentine recruit for the season after secondrower Agustín Smidt was confirmed. He is to join the club from Córdoba Athletic in what is to be his third professional contract. Narváez previously played in France in 2005 for Lyon and also in Italy in 2009-2010 for Cavalieri Prato. His return to the Pro d2 and to French rugby is a surprise in many ways. Most notably is the fact that he had agreed to terms to play professionally at the highest level in Scotland for Edinburgh in the newly named Magners League, the RaboDirect Pro12.
Narváez has played for Argentina at the highest level, winning two caps in 2009 in the South American Championship. He started at loosehead prop vs Chile and was a replacement vs Uruguay several days latter. He has also featured for the Argentina Jaguares in the IRB Nations Cup and Americas Rugby Championship. While returning to Los Pumas may appear to be out of the question he nonetheless has a lot of rugby left in him and could impress in the Pro d2.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Argentina 2023 stands out as an increasingly positive option when considering geographical location. Argentina´s location in the Americas with the rugby markets of Oceania to the west and Europe and Southern Africa to the East enables the country the luxury of producing a match schedule which would give teams favorable playing times. The country´s centrality to these markets allows for a genuine spreading out of matches to taylor to the demands of the market. With the advent of professionalism rugby has had to adjust to provide for the preferred demands of the market. This has seen more matches played at night to cater to the demands of pay-tv and an evolving audience. In places like Australia and New Zealand this has meant day matches are rare and night matches are the norm. The broadcasters believe it is better for business to have matches at latter times. It also enables matches to be broadcast live in the European and African markets at better times than by having games played earlier.
For France 2007 a number of matches had 9:00pm kick-off´s (local time) which meant for the best possible viewing hours for a global audience. France vs Argentina to open the tournament was 9pm local time which translated into 9pm in Johannesburg, 8pm in London, 4pm in Buenos Aires, 3pm in Toronto, midday in Los Angeles, 7am in Auckland and 5am in Sydney. The match delivered a key match at globally accessible hours and an earlier kick-off would have meant lower viewing numbers. The first game of the second day of the tournament took place at 1.45pm the following day between New Zealand and Italy. The reason behind the early kick-off being to meet the needs, as best as possible, of the audience. It meant 11:45pm kick-off in New Zealand which is far better than a 3am kick-off.
For Rugby World Cup 2011, New Zealand has tried to do the same thing, as much as possible. Unfortunately for the tournament organizers there is a major problem which complicates this - New Zealand´s global position. The country provides for difficult schedules given its location in the South Pacific Ocean. Matches starting at 9pm work well for France as the corresponding time is 11am and thus 10am in the United Kingdom and Ireland. There is, however, a problem of matches on the same day. On Sunday September 11 South Africa vs Wales had a 9pm kickoff and took place after Ireland vs USA and Australia vs Italy. The 3:30pm kick-off time for Australia vs Italy meant Italians wanting to watch their team live had to tune in at 5:30am. Viewers in Ireland had a 7am kick-off for their teams match while viewers in New York had to watch the match at 2am. The key match of Argentina vs England on the second day of the competition kicked-off at 5:30am in Buenos Aires and 9:30am in London. The time was chosen as being the best possible time to suit all markets. An earlier kick-off would have been negative for both countries playing in the match. Scotland vs Romania was played on the same day with a 1pm kick-off which corresponded to 2am in Glasgow and 4am in Bucharest which makes live viewing tough for fans of both sides.
Argentina´s time zone provides opportunities for friendlier match times than both New Zealand 2011 and France 2007. The time zone means that tournament organizers would have the luxury of a genuine three day weekend with Friday night matches involving one or more of the likes of Australia, Fiji, Japan, New Zealand or Tonga corresponding to superior schedule options. For the first time in history, the Rugby World Cup could have two matches take place on a Friday which would be in the interests of everybody to better distribute the games and for teams to then have greater rest time between matches. Rather than having four matches on a Saturday and three on a Sunday, it would be possible to have two on a Friday, three on a Saturday and three on a Sunday. 9pm in Buenos Aires would be midday in New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, 10am in Sydney and 9am in Tokyo. 9pm in Argentina would mean 2am in Paris and therefore not an option but a 5pm kick-off would mean 10pm in France and 9pm in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Having a match such as New Zealand vs France kick-off at 5pm would work well by being 8am in New Zealand and 10pm in France. In other words, Argentina´s time zone is not only favorable for all major rugby markets but it also means finding a balance between two powerful teams from vastly different time zones is possible and friendlier than in all previous Rugby World Cup´s.
Afternoon kick-offs are favorable for European and African sides while evening kick-off´s are favorable for teams from Oceania (including Japan) and sides from the America´s could easily play in either the afternoon or evening. As such, a schedule could be produced with minimal matches played at times that disadvantage viewers from a particular country. Consider the following sample draw for the opening weekend with the same 20 teams from 2011 distributed fairly according to global rugby trends and with IRB World Rankings being taken into account. Times are local and thus 15 hours behind New Zealand and 4 hours behind the United Kingdom (GMT - Greenwich Mean Time).
Sample Draw for RWC 2023
Pool A - Australia, Fiji, France, Namibia, USA
Pool B - Argentina, Canada, England, Italy, Russia
Pool C - Georgia, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga
Pool D - Japan, New Zealand, Samoa, Romania, Wales
Sample Match Schedule for the Opening Week of RWC 2023
Friday September 8, 2023 Argentina vs England, Buenos Aires, 6:30pm
Friday September 8, 2023 Australia vs Fiji, Córdoba, 8:30pm
Saturday September 8, 2023 Ireland vs Georgia, Mendoza, 2:30pm
Saturday September 8, 2023 France vs USA, Rosario, 4:30pm
Saturday September 8, 2023 New Zealand vs Wales, La Plata, 6:30pm
Sunday September 9, 2023 South Africa vs Scotland, Avalleneda, 2:30pm
Sunday September 9 2023 Italy vs Russia, Santa Fé, 5:00pm
Sunday September 9 2023 Japan vs Samoa, Tucumán,7:30pm
Tuesday September 10 2023 England vs Canada, Rosario, 5:30pm
Tuesday September 10 2023 Fiji vs Namibia, Salta, 7:30pm
Wednesday September 11 2023 Wales vs Romania, Mar del Plata, 5:30pm
Wednesday September 11 2023 Ireland vs Tonga, San Juan, 7:30pm
Saturday, July 16, 2011
26 year old former Argentine international secondrower, Agustín Smidt is one of five new arrivals at French club, Béziers for the 2010-2011 season. Smidt is joining the club from English second division side the Rotherham Titans to play in France´s second division, the Pro d2. The others to have signed for the club include New Zealand flyhalf from Rugby World Cup 1995 and 1999, Andrew Mehrtens, Bakary Meïté, Mathieu Siro, Quentin Doumayrou and Sebastien Max. Béziers are returning to the Pro d2 after playing the previus season in the French third division, Féderale 1. Historically, Béziers are the second most succesful club in France with only Toulouse having won mopre French championships.
Smidt has played three international matches for Argentina. His first cap came in 2008 vs Chile with Smidt socring a try in his sides 71-3 victory. His two other caps came in 2010 vs Uruguay and Chile with Smidt socring a try against Los Teros.
Friday, July 15, 2011
The match will be played on August 6 in the western Argentine city of San Juan at the foot of the Andes Mountains. It is scheduled for a 3:30pm kick-off and will be played at the new Estadio Bicentenário which was recently constructed for the 2011 Copa América soccer tournament currently taking place in the country.
Argentina´s relationship with SANZAR continues to strengthen and with the official announcement of Argentina in an expanded Tri-Nations starting in 2012, the UAR have started considering stadiums to be used for Argentina´s home matches. The UAR will receive a visit from the authorities of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The motive of the visit is to confirm details and visit stadiums that may be used for Four Nations matches in 2012. The big question is, of course, where will Los Pumas play their Four Nations matches? So far nothing has been confirmed, however there are some stadiums that are widely believed to be certain to host matches in 2012.
Despite never having hosted an international rugby match, the new stadium in La Plata has been chosen by the UAR and was the original venue selected to host the first test between Los Pumas and the French Barbarians in June 2011, before it had to be moved to an alternative venue because of the proximity in dates between the rugby match and the Copa América Soccer tournament currenly being played in Argentina. Soccer authorities requested that the playing surface be reserved for the tournament to allow it to be in the best possible conditions. The match was moved to Independiente in Avalleneda, greater Buenos Aires and was regarded as a success. The stadium is being considered as a permanent venue to host international rugby.
Among the other stadiums that are being considered for the Four Nations are those which have hosted matches in recent years. The two veue used to host matches vs Scotland in 2010, Tucumán and Mar del Plata are in consideration as are all others such as Resistencia whcih hosted the second match vs the French Barbarians last month. San Juan will host Argentina vs CONSUR XV in August is another as are venues including Salta which hosted Argentina vs England in 2009, Córdoba and Rosario which hosted matches vs Italy and Scotland in 2008 and Santa Fé and Mendoza which hosted Argentina vs Ireland and Italy in 2007.
With Thanks: www.scrum.com.ar
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Argentina will take on a South American XV to be called the CONSUR XV which is a re-birth of the South American Jaguares who played international rugby against South Africa during the apartheid era. The match will kick-off at 3:30pm. It is to be the first of three games in August with Argentina subsequently taking on Wales on August 20 and English premiership side, the Worcester Warriors on August 23. A group of 39 players are currently going through the final preperation before coahc Santiago Phelan announces his squad of 30 players for New Zealand 2011. The group will return in time for Phelan to confirm his squad of 30 players next week. Following the matches in Wales and England, Los Pumas will return to Argentina for one week before departing for Dunedin on September 1 to prepare for the teams opening match of the tournament vs England.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Ledesma has been a regular player for Argentina throughout his career but has not played as many internationals as players from other countries due to the low quantity of matches Argentina plays in comparison to other first tier teams. He would likely be the world record holder should Argentina play as many matches as sides such as Australia, Ireland, South Africa or Wales. He, nonetheless, has done just about it all. he captained Los Pumas in an international match vs Japan in 1998 but more importantly has been a part of Argentina in virtually every single one of the sides important triumph´s in the professional era. Ledesma started at hooker in Argentina´s 18-16 win over Australia in 1997. The Australian side, which would go on to win the Rugby World Cup two years latter was a star-studies side featuring players including Stephen Larkham, Ben Tune, Tim Horan, Joe Roff, George Gregan, Richard Harry, Andrew Blades, Owen Finegan and captain John Eales. Having made the hooker position his own he went on to satart in all five of Argentina´s matches at Rugby World Cup 1999. His performaces vs Wales, Samoa, Japan, Ireland and France led critics to say he was the best hooker in the tournament.
In 2000 Ledesma played only one test for Argentina, the classic 37-33 loss to South Africa in Buenos Aires, with Federico Mendez being prefered at the time as the starting hooker. He was on the bench for Argentina´s games the following year and came on as a replacement in the history making 30-16 win over Wales at the Millenium Stadium and the narrow last second 24-20 loss to New Zealand in Buenos Aires. Ledesma fearured in the wis over France in 2002 and 2003 and the 26-25 last minute loss to South Africa. After impressing vs Fiji, the USA and Canada Ledesma was chosen to start vs Australia to open Rugby World Cup 2003. His performance, however, was below par which saw him start only one more match in the tournament, vs Romania. 2004, however, proved to be the turning point as Ledesma won back the Pumas 2 shirt permanently and retains it today, seven years latter. Ledesma was a standout in Argentina´s 24-14 win over France in Marseilles which was the first time France had ever lost a match there. In 2005 Ledesma stared in the 25-25 draw vs the British and Irish Lions as well as the away victories over Italy and Scotland. Perhaps the most noteworthy performance of his career by 2006 was Argentina´s 25-18 win over England at Twickenham. He would also taste a home win vs England in 2009 but it was all surpassed by France 2007 with Ledesma at age 34 being one of the best hookers at the tournament and outplaying fancied players from elite sides including France, Ireland and Scotland.
He has been a professional player at the top level in France for a decade. Like many of the players from the 1999 team, Ledesma went on to play in Europe at the elite level. Ledesma arrived in France in 2001 to play for Narbonne on a two year contract. he then moved to Castres where he stayed until the end of the 2005 season before joining Clermont for whom he played over 100 matches for as the clubs first choice hooker over a six year period. During his time at Clermont, Ledesma played in four French championship finals from 2007-2010, losing the first three before winning in 2010 in what was Clermont´s first ever French championship. His seven year stint at the club has seen him win lots of supporters with the locals taking him in as one of their own.
Aged 38, Ledesma, is likely to be the oldest player at Rugby World Cup 2011 and will certainly be Argentina´s oldest player. Despite not having age on his side, Ledesma continues to be a top performer as he demonstrated for Clermont in the 2010-2011 season putting in big hits, acting as a solid ball carrier, scrumaging well and providing clean ball in the lineouts. He heads into New Zealand 2011 well into the twilight of his career but will stil have what it takes to go up against the best in the business.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
This past Sunday marked the official four year countdown to the 2015 Pan American Games which will be hosted by Canada´s largest city, Toronto. According to the governing body of Canadian rugby, Rugby Canada, it s to be the largest ever sporting event held in the country. The CN Tower in Toronto was lit up on Sunday showcasing the red, blue and green brand colours to celebrate the official four-year countdown to Toronto 2015. The event including 42 countries from North and South America and it 2015 will involve more than 10,000 athletes going for gold. Spread over eight days the Games will de held from August 7-14, 2015 in what is to be Canada´s third time as host after the central Canadian city of Winnipeg hosted in 1967 and 1999.
Rugby Sevens will be a key sport at Toronto 2015 and the games are to be utilized by the countries rugby authorities to help grow the sport. It is to be nothing less than an unmissable opportunity in which the sport can be shown to Canadians in a gloabally significant event in which Canada will be a strong medal candidate and will indeed go for gold in both the mens and womens categories. It is to be the second Pan American Games featuring Rugby Sevens following Guadalajara 2011.
With Thanks www.toronto2015.org and www.rugbycanada.ca
Monday, July 11, 2011
South American international players contributing to global rugby continues with the news that 22 year old Chilean international secondrower, Pablo Huerte, is to play professionally in New Zealand for the Tasman Makos in the 2011 ITM Cup, New Zealand´s domestic championship. The ten time capped Condores forward joins the side from Christchurch club, Burnside after having impressed as a lineout jumper and for his on field presence as a ball carrier. Huerte is a large 117KG secondrower who stands tall at 2 metres. It could well be the start of bigger and better things for the Chilean who could go on to have a successful professional career. Tasman´s first match is this coming Saturday, July 16 in an away match vs Northland. The side had a forgettable season in 2010, finishing 12th.