With last seasons championship winning captain, Agustín Creevy, now playing his rugby with Montpellier the Argentine team will enter South Africa´s Vodacom Cup with a different captain. The options are multiple and thus far there has not been a clear sign as to who will lead the title defence. What are the options?
Farías to lead Los Pampas XV?
The leading options are players who featured for Argentina at Rugby World Cup 2011 and are absed in Argentina. Of Los Pumas´ 30 man squad four players are involved in Los Pampas XV. They are secondrower, Mariano Galarza and backrowers Alejandro Campos, Julio Farías Cabello and Genaro Fessia. Of these four players one should indeed be given the captains arm band for the Vodacom Cup. All are likely to go on to play for Argentina in June 2012 and, indeed, in The Rugby Championship. Julio Farías was interviewed earlier this week and said he would be greatly honored to lead the team if selected to do so. The 33 year is greatly respected by both players and coach and would appear the strongest candidate as he is also a certain starter in the backrow and can also perform just as well in the secondrow.
Or is the younger Galarza in line?
It would appear that if he does not get chosen as captain that the leading option would be Mariano Galarza. The 25 year old former Leinster secondrower has, unlike Farías Cabello, been a member of the PladAR system since it started. He will be playing his third season of Vodacom Cup rugby this year. He has gone ahead of professional players such as Esteban Lozada (Edinburgh) and Tomás Vallejos Cinalli (Harlequins) to be Argentina´s reserve secondrower behind the pair of Patricio Albacete (Toulouse) and Manuel Carizza (Biarritz). Galarza has also captained Argentina A as he led the side to victory vs Uruguay in 2011. Galarza has been a member of Santiago Phelan´s Pumas squads since the November tour of Europe in 2008. He was selected despite being largely unknown and uncapped. Farías Cabello appeared two years latter. Both players appear to be strong options.