Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Juan Pablo Socino - Future Puma?

Socino with ball in hand for Nottingham
A young Argentine player who looms as Puma in the making is Juan Pablo Socino. The 24 year old flyhalf / centre has been in the sights of the FIR with the Italian Rugby Union looking at him as a potential Italian international flyhalf. Such a move would follow on from Leandro Cedaro who last week confirmed he had said no to a possible place in the Pumas squad in place of an opportunity of representing Italy. Cedaro is to play for Italy A next month. In the case of Socino, the opposite has occured with the young Argentine player being named in the Los Jaguares squad for the IRB Nations Cup to be played in Romania in June.

Socino is ready to take the step up after having impressed in England´s second division, the RFU Championship for Rotherham and Nottingham. He was named at inside centre in the Dream Team of the current season as well as also being named in the Dream Team for the 2010-2011 season. Scouts have been paying attention to his progress with Rabo Direct Pro 12 side, Treviso looking to secure his signature. Socino, however, turned down the offer to play for the Italian side as well as offers of staying in the RFU Championship and, in fact, cut short his contract with Nottingham by one season so that he could return to Argentina and focus on making his way into the senior squad.

His return to Argentina has seen him take up a contract with the UAR as one of the PladAR players. It means he will be at the full disposal of Santiago Phelan and his colleagues and has declared himself to his country. This will likely see him play for los Pampas XV in 2013. He will play less now than he was in England and certainly less than he would in the Rabo Direct Pro 12 but his move to Argentina will see him have far greater chances of making Los Pumas and he could very well be utilized in The Rugby Championship. He would likely be used as an inside centre given the options avaliable to Phelan at flyhalf. Moreover, Felipe Contepomi will not play in The Rugby Championship which could well see Socino earn a spot depending on how he performs for Los Jaguares the IRB Nations Cup.

               A young Juan Pablo Socino

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