Friday, May 18, 2012

Adios y Gracias Martín Scelzo!

The playing career of Pumas veteram prop, Martín Scelzo has reached its conclusion. The 126KG tighthead prop is nothing less than a rugby legend having competed at four Rugby World Cup´s and contributing massively to Argentina´s rise to becoming a Tier One rugby nation and World Cup contender. His international career stretches a decade and a half as he played his first international match back in September 1996 vs the USA and played his last in October 2011 vs New Zealand in the World Cup Quarter Final. Scelzo played a total of 59 tests and was at his peak in France 2007 when he created global headlines for his performances as part of the Bronze Medal team that defeated France, Georgia, Namibia, Ireland and Scotland to shake up the global rugby order and change it for the better. At the tournament, Scelzo was Argentina´s starting tighthead prop, holding off Omar Hasan who would go on to be voted as the greatest tighthead prop in the history of the Rugby World Cup.

Scelzo leaves O´Driscoll  behind
(see video below)
Regarded as a complete player, Scelzo was commonly seen clearing out rucks and bullying opposition scrums whether it be for club of country. He was also a quality ball carrier and was regarded as being amongst the best tighthead props on the planet. Scelzo was also a very humble guy who played for his teammates and put everything he could into playing for Los Pumas. He formed a formidable combination with Mario Ledesma for both Clermont and Argentina with the pair joining Rodrigo Roncero to be considered the best frontrow of Rugby World Cup 2007. Four years latter Scelzo, as a 35 year old, was still good enough to make the squad and was used as Argentina´s replacement prop with Juan Figallo joining Ledesma and Roncero as tghe starting frontrow combination. Scelzo proved to still have it in him as he put in a strong performance in Argentina´s do-or-die win over Scotland in Wellington. Scelzo came on as a firsthalf replacement for Roncero. In his international career, Scelzo scored ten test tries, a very high number for a prop forward. His final try came in 2011 vs Wales in a World Cup warm up match. 

Scelzo played professional rugby at the highest level in Europe winning the Heineken Cup with the Northampton Saints in 2000 and the Top 14 with Clermont a decade on in the year 2010. He has opted to stop now despite still having one year remaining on his contract with Agen with whom he played 15 matches this season. Scelzo leaves rugby aged 36 but is not returning to Argentina just yet. He may take up a coaching position with a espoirs Top 14 side. He is a father of four.

Agulla Try with Scelzo running over Brian O´Driscoll, 2007

Argentine National Anthem - Rugby World Cup 2007

Top 14 Final, 2010

Final Try vs Wales, 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment