Thursday, February 9, 2012

Santiago Phelan visits Europe to see Pumas players

Santiago Phelan
Los Pumas Head Coach, Santiago Phelan, will travel to Europe to see the Argentine players and begin to determine the squad that will represent Argentina in what is to be an historical year for the  National Team. Argentina will play a total of twelve test matches with six of them being in The Rugby Championship and the six others being split into the IRB International Windows of June and November. Argentina will host Italy for one test and France for two in June and Phelan´s visit to the old continent will go a long way to determining who will play for Argentina. There are a lot of unanswered questions which should be resolved shortly. Two of the key ones are whether or not Felipe Contepomi, who is almost 35 retain the captaincy? Will Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe take over or even play as he is yet to return to action ssicne the World Cup.
On Wednesday, February 8, Tati traveled to Europe with the clear goal: watch the development of Argentine players in their clubs. "I'm going to Paris, then the south of France, and I will end the trip in London. The idea is to observe the Argentine players playing in Europe. Basically, the trip is to visit, to contact them and see what state are in. It is always good to know how they are developing  in their clubs and to find out what conditions each. I think it's important to start planning and anticipation ahead of the activity that will come from June. "
In clarifying the main objective, Phelan also emphasized how important it is to see the work of other coaches. "I take the trip as well as training. Being here in the country, sometimes you lose track of how to develop teams and players from outside, then I think these trips are very productive to further training," added the coach, who is in charge of the Pumas since 2008.
The year of 2012 will be exciting for the National Team: Italy and France face (twice) in June in Argentina, then will face the expected 6 Rugby Championship matches and will play against Wales, France and Ireland in the European Tour in November. What player base will be put together by the Pumas Head-Coach? Phelan explains, "It is something you determine these days. It is going to begreatly evaluated, and surely switching between campuses with European players in terms of rest periods and the availability of clubs, both for the June and November Windows and The Rugby Championship. In a few days or months it will be clarified in order to shape the situation. But I am thinking of using a larger base of players due to the amount of games. "
Given the requirement of the parties and the short time between each one, Tati explains that the player base will be enlarged, and it works daily in the squad of players PLADAR Seniors, Santiago Phelan who visited in the last merger a week ago. Regarding the findings of what he saw at SIC, Phelan said that "they (Los Pumas XV) are preparing very well for South Africa. They are in very good hands, both by coaches Daniel Hourcade and Mauricio Reggiardo and everyone who works with them, all do a very good way. Players are excited and that is very important. Logically, the Vodacom Cup tournament will be a very demanding for them, they will generate even more friction than they do for their clubs, and I will give an international touch tomorrow if they have to play for Los Pumas".
Finally, the coach, who played at thr 1999 and 2003 World Cup´s, highlighted the focus of this year, which approximates full of news: "Having so much activity and compete in tournaments that we play and is a very important commitment to Argentina. Most importantly, this year will be further improvement mainly in the game, knowing that we will play against top teams. will be a challenging year, very difficult, and I think the importance of working getting better and prepare to grow in the game will be as important. "

Source: UAR

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