Thursday, February 9, 2012

A record Six Pumas to start for Montpellier

Juan Figallo will start at loosehead
Last seasons defeated finalists, Montpellier have made history by naming six Argentine international players in the starting lineup to face Perpignan in a Top 14 match to be played on Friday. The team not only includes six players but it has players who are all of the new generation that has appeared for Los Pumas following Rugby World Cup 2007. Of the players, five were at Rugby World Cup 2011 but only two were regular performers in the tournament. One of the two regulars was Juan Figallo who was a sttar performer at tighthead prop. Montpellier have named him at loosehead prop to form an all Argentine frontrow with Agustín Creevy playing hooker and Maximilino Bustos playing tighthead prop. Figallo was considered the best player of Argentina´s Pool in New Zealand 2011 which also included England, Georgia, Romania and Scotland. His ability to play on both sides of the scrum is likely to assist Argentina greatly following the retirement of Martín Scelzo and the age of Rodrigo Roncero. Figallo is likely to form a frontrow for Los Pumas this year with Creevy and Marcos Ayerza of Leicester.

Despite the Six Nations taking place and Montpellier being on red hot form only one player will be missing to international duty with France hosting Ireland on Saturday. In place of François Trinh-Duc Santiago Fernández will pull the strings from flyhalf. He will be joined in the backline by the inform pair of Martín Bustos Moyano, who will be the teams goalkicker from the left wing, and Lucas González Amorosino who will play fullback. The form of González Amorosino has been outstanding this season and has well and truely made Leicester´s use of him look outrageous. He has even had people calling him the best fullback in the Top 14 this season.

Curiously, there will be more players from Argentina than from France on the field. This is going to be the case  even with French international backrower, Fulgence Ouedraogo on the field. He is from Burkina Faso in Africa. Should Montpellier win the team will move ahead of Castres into third place by virute of Castres´match vs Agen having been postponed. A loss for Perpignan would continue the clubs dreadful season with the Catalans facing the serious possibility of relegation.

Montpellier

1 Juan Figallo
2 Agustín Creevy
3 Maximiliano Bustos
4 Drikus Hancke
5 Thibault Privat
6 Fulgence Ouedraogo
7 Mamuka Gorgodze
8 Alex Tulou
9 Julien Tomas
10 Santiago Fernández
11 Martin Bustos Moyano
12 Paul Bosch
13 Thomas Combezou
14 Timoci Nagusa
15 Lucas González Amorosino

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