Friday, February 17, 2012

Julio Farías handed Los Pumas XV Captaincy

Julío Farías
Some called him Argentina´s best backrower at Rugby World Cup 2011. Most viewers, hoever, had never heard of him before the tournament. Such has been the remarkable turnaround in the career of the 33 year old. From 2006-2009 Julio Farías was playing in France for Rouen (Stade rouennais rugby) in the country´s fourth division - the Fédérale 2. He was spotted there by Los Pampas XV head-coach Daniel Hourcade who talked to him and convinced him to return to Argentina to try to break into the national team. It worked as Farías was drafted into Argentina´s test team to cover for the injured Manuel Carizza for Argentina´s match vs France in Montpellier in November 2010. He then started vs Ireland the following weekend. Having preformed well in the Vodacom Cup in 2011 he was named in Argentina´s World Cup squad and was the teams starting number 6. The rest is history as he scored the first try of the Quarter Final.

With the 2011 Los Pampas XV captain, Agustín Creevy now playing in France full time, the captancy became vacant and Farías´s rise as an important player has seen him given the honors of leading the side into its 2012 campaign. Hourcade and his coaching staff confirmed Farías as captain with Mariano Galarza as vice captain. The selection underlines just how hard Fariás has worked as he has given everything for his country and has won the respect of his peers and coaches. In December he won the reward of sportman of the year from his home province of Tucumán and now he is heading into the Vodacom Cup like a man ten years younger than his age.
His choice as captain makes a lot of sense but it also brings in one important question - where will he play?  Los Pampas XV has solid players in both the second and backrows with World Cup secondrower Mariano Galarza in the team as well as the pair of Alejandro Campos and Genaro Fessia. Santiago Phelan opted to field two reserve props and no reserve secondrower to replace Patricio Albacete and Manuel Carizza in the World Cup Quarter Final vs New Zealand. Julio Farías was seen as the man to play in the secondrow should the need arise. With a fram of 1.93cm and weighing in at 110KG, Farías weighs only on KG less than Ignacio Fernández Lobbe did at France 2007 and is only 3cm shorter.

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