Friday, February 24, 2012

Córdoba confirms it will host Argentina vs France

El estadio Mario Kempes podría recibir el encuentro Mundo D
The Estadio Mario Kempes in Córdoba will host Argentina vs France

Following the confirmation of San Juan as a host venue for Los Pumas this year the question remains as to which two venues will be used for France´s two test tour of Argentina. According to local newspaper, El Mundo de Córdoba, Argentina´s second largest city, Córdoba has been awarded one of the two matches vs Les Bleus. The newspaper confirmed the first of two matches will take place on June 16 at the renovated Estadio Mario Kempes. The newspaper´s source is from the local government with the President of the Agencia Córdoba Deportes (Córdoba Sporting Agency), Emeterio Farías, confirming his city has secured the match.  
It will take place seven days after Argentina take on Italy in San Juan and means that 2012 is truely a revolutionary year for rugby in Argentina as the UAR are taking games to the people rather than utilize Buenos Aires for all or most of its matches. Buenos Aires is likely to be confirmed as the host venue for the second test vs France to be played on June 23. If so, it will be the only test in the capital this year. Buenos Aires´ State capital, La Plata, located close to Buenos Aires will host Argentina´s home test vs the All Blacks. Argentina´s third largest city, Rosario will host Australia and Argentina´s fourth largest, Mendoza will host South Africa. Such is the superb distribution of matches that Argentina is appearcing increasingly strong as the leading candidate to host Rugby World Cup 2023.

Los Pumas´ last visit to Córdoba was not a happy one as players involved in France´s Top 14 Orange Final were unavaliable due to the final taking place on the same day. Argentina was playing without stars including Patricio Albacete, Mario Ledesma and Martín Scelzo. Coach, Santiago Phelan was also experimenting with players and rested some forwards and backsn such as Marcos Ayerza, Felipe Contepomi and Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe. The match was Juan Martín Hernández´ first since Rugby World Cup 2007 but he left early with a broken hand. Italy scored a late try to claim a 13-12 win.

The match looms as a special occassion for the inform Martín Bustos Moyano who is from Córdoba. The Montpellier ace goalkicker was left out of Argentina´s World Cup squad despite contributing heavy to his french club´s appearnce in a first ever Top 14 Final. Córdoba had one World Cup Puma in the form of backrower Genaro Fessia, a try scorer vs Romania. 

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