Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Juan Martín Hernández - Destination Auckland or Plus de Paris?

Back to Stade Français?
The rumours are true, Juan Martín Hernández has confirmed himself that he has been in talks with the management of New Zealand Super Rugby side, the Blues for him to join the Auckland based side in 2013. The nominee for IRB Player of the Year in 2007 also confirmed that he has two offers to work through fro him to remain in France, and indeed in Paris. His current club, Racing Métro and his former club of six years, Stade Français have both given the Argentine playmaker offers. He is under contract with Racing Métro now but the contract, which was a two year deal with the option of a third, expires at the end of the current season.

El Mago simply has a massive choice to make and it is not an easy one. On the one hand he could set the mark and lead the way for future Pumas players by playing in the Southern Hemispher´s Premier competition. On the other hand he could continue to play in Paris where he is one of the most respected and highest paid players. The man known to his Argentine teammates as Juani explained it all in an interview with Argentine site scrum. He explained that he is analyzing the offer from the Blues as well as both offers from Stade Français and Racing Métro. Curiously, the offer from Racing Métro is poles apart to the treatment Horacio Agulla received from the Leicester Tigers. According to Hernández, Racing Métro are willing to sign him despite his certain involvement in The Rugby Championship which will mean he will miss the preseason training as well as matches in August and September as the competition is set to finish one week into October.

The option of a new challenge in Auckland or remaining in Paris is a tough oen as Hernández makes it clear that his home is in Europe and, moreover, Paris. Of the three options on the table Hernández said he would prioritize Paris because he has lived in the city for virtually all his career as a profesional rugby player and in his words, I feel comfortable and instaled. His only time as a professional away from Paris was playing for the Sharks in South Africa in 2009. Despite making it clear that his preference is to remain in the Top 14 Orange, Hernández also said the offer from the Blues is good and on top of having a great level of rugby, it also supports the calendar of Los Pumas. However, he finished by saying that the truth is that, when choosing, which also comes into play is my personal life - private.


  1. "Curiously, the offer from Racing Métro is poles apart to the treatment Horacio Agulla received from the Leicester Tigers. According to Hernández, Racing Métro are willing to sign him despite his certain involvement in The Rugby Championship which will mean he will miss the preseason training as well as matches in August and September as the competition is set to finish one week into October."

    Oh i wonder why this is?
    Maybe its because both Racing Metro and Stade Francais have millionaire investors. And the Top 14 has a higher salary cap than the Aviva so they can afford to have depth in positions.

    If you were in Leicester's position would you really waste your precious amount of money and squad places on a an average winger like Agulla?
    Don't go making comments like that when you know the truth.

    1. The statement has a lot to support it. Consider that:

      *Leicester are actually still open to Agulla staying at the club. Agulla has confirmed this. He also has offers to join rivals clubs and a return to France is also on the table.

      * Money has not even been mentioned by Leicester.

      *The Tigers also will have enough money to pay for Agulla without question.

      *As the other anonymous poster said, Alesana Tuilagi is leaving. While Agulla is playing very well and has, indeed, confirmed himself as the clubs leading right winger

      * Billy Twelvetrees is leaving too.

      * Geordan Murphy is 33 years old and not getting any better.

      * There are a number of South Africans contracted to European clubs who are exactly the same as the Pumas. - François Steyn, Ruan Pienaar. They are certain for The Rugby Championship.

      * Don´t forget about John Smit, Gerhard Mostert, Gurthro Steenkamp, Schalk Britz or Johann Miller either.

    2. Difference being Steyn, Pienaar, Smit, Steenkamp, Britz and Johann Muller are world class players.
      Agulla is not.

      Leicester want to reach a comprise. Probably so that they get him back in the middle of the 4 nations.

      Sining someone like Miles Benjamin would be a much better choice. There are a lot of quality English players who are much better than Agulla who won't be away with international duty.

    3. Two points based on opinion not fact. In my opinion Smit, Steenkamp, Britz and Muller are no better than Agulla. All are strong players but not of the top shelf variety.

      Similarly, saying England has much better wingers than Agulla is an opinion not a fact. There are 12 teams in the Aviva Premiership. England does not have enough wingers of note to supply all these teams. Agulla is, of the standard of Premiership wingers and this season can claim to be in the top bracket. He is one of Leicester´s best performers this season. Were it about a different player like Federico Martín Aramburu of Glasgow then it would be a different scenario.

      Miles Benjamin will play for Leicester next season. He is the replacement for Alesana Tuilagi.

      In any event the point of making reference to South Africans is to show that it is not only Pumas players who could miss the August-early October period. It is nothing new. The calls to stop signing Pumas players based on the Southern Hemisphere calendar is therefore misleading.

      The UAR is willing to negotiate so that, most likely, players will play a maximum of 10 of the 12 matches per year. This being the case the likes of Leicester and Racing Métro would have no reason to not hold on to their performing Pumas players. Players playing all 12 is a high demand too.

    4. Smit is not a world class player and hasn't been since 2008, ever since he moved to prop he got fatter and fatter as well, by the way Ledesma was easily the best hooker at Clermont whilst they were there together

      I think clubs are panicking because it is new, not that it is that much worse than some other nations internationals, a simple solution in my opinion is to start Super Rugby a bit earlier so the 4 Nations can finish a week or two earlier as well

      it is nothing to do with money however, in fact for a club with "so little money" and which moans about the salary cap so much, they have some pretty impressive reserves

      not many teams have two international tightheads, several England or Saxons lock options, Twelvetrees struggling to get a game, an All Black on the bench ...

      Amorosino was worse treated by Leicester than Agulla though, Ayerza is staying by the way

  2. Agulla is not the best winger but he is the best at Leicester this season and Tuilagi is leaving so the club would be idiots to not hang on to him.

    1. You may be right. The UAR is to talk to English and French clubs about the transition period which could well see Agulla stay at the club. He is in his prime, unlike Hamilton and Murphy.

  3. it seems that in the French press that the move to Stade Français is the most likely at the minute

    they say like Chabal that he doesn't like the game plan of Berbizier, don't blame him as Racing in my opinion are in a bad state, they play as individuals not as a team, literally they all try and run for themselves and don't pass and be greedy,

    it makes it even more amazing to me that Imhoff has done so well when he has virtually no space or anything created for him, all his runs for them are individual moments of brilliance rather than being at the end of a team move, if he played for the All Blacks or the Crusaders trust me he would be considered one of the world's best by now

    it's the same for Sireli Bobo, who has to create his own pieces of magic, as Racing don't play as a team

    I kind of hope Imhoff leaves Racing or they release and joins a team with players who complement his skills rather than players who just leave him to everything himself, hopefully Racing let him go and he can join either a better French team or a Super Rugby team

    in my opinion that would be a good move for Hernández, as Stade need a fly half as Contepomi may retire after this season or at least play a less prominent role next season

    although I read that he left Stade on bad terms, so maybe it was reported as worse than it actually was,25883,3559_3019216,00.html