Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Rugby Championship Players to Watch - Àlvaro Galindo

The story of Àlvaro Galindo in Pumas colors is not a happy one. Despite having been born with rugby blood and being from the rugby rich city of Tucumán, Galindo has had an up and down career at the international level with injuries having significantly set back his progression. After having had an impressive 2010-2011 season in the Top 14 with Racing Métro, Galindo had guaranteed his place in the World Cup and was looking certain to be his country´ starting number six, forming a backrow with Juan Manuel Leguizamón and Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe. Indeed, Galindo was named in the squad but he did not play at all as he had to withdraw from the tournament with a bicep injury, picked up weeks before the sgtart of the World Cup. This followed a thigh muscle injury in his club sides Semi Final loss vs Montpellier in May 2011.

But with Argentina debuting in the expanded Tri Nations, a new challenge awaits Àlvaro Galindo and he was named in Los Pumas´  squad of twenty-four players for The Rugby Championship. Galindo was one of three backrowers named with two others likely to be added following the completion of the June 2012 internationals. A place in the starting lineup for Galindo appears to be strong with Galindo competing against the likes of Leonardo Senatore and Tomás de la Vega for the right to join Leguizamón and Fernández Lobbe in forming Los Pumas´ first choice backrow.

Galindo for Racing Métro
Galindo has experience on his side and a professional career that has seen him play in France for the past six seasons. During which time, Galindo has played in both the Top 14 and the Pro d2. His first taste as a professional came in 2006 when he joined Béziers. After two seasons with the then Pro d2 side he moved to Paris to play for second division rivals, Racing Métro and he got his first big break for Los Pumas. Despite having already played two tests in 2004, Galindo´s true birth as a Puma came in 2008 when he played in five  tests out of seven, starting against France and Italy. He got through the year looking like being a promising player but only played one test in 2009, an unhappy one vs England in Manchester. He was dropped from the team for the teams second test vs England and then missed the November tour of Europe with a bad injury.

Galindo´ test debut came in 2004 as he faced both Uruguay and Venezuela in official test matches, scoring a try against both South American countries. Eight years on, and now aged 30 Galindo is a player doing more than just making up the numbers. He has shown that when he strings games together he can be a solid performer. Indeed, his form in the 2010-2011 season for Racing Métro was inmpressive. He started for Racing Métro in the teams Top 14 Semi Final loss and played seventeen Top 14 matches in all that season. Galindo again had an injury-hit season in 2011-2012 for Racing Métro but still played eight Top 14 matches. He is certain to add to his recod of eleven test match appearances and could well make a name for himself with his solid defence.

Week Three: Marcelo Bosch
Week Four: Agustín Creevy
Week Eight: Rodrigo Roncero
Week Nine: Gonzalo Camacho
Week Ten: Patricio Albacete
Week Eleven: Horacio Agulla
Week Twelve: Juan Figallo
Week Thirteen: Santiago Fernández
Week Fourteen: Tomás Cubelli 
Week Fifteen: Marcos Ayerza
Week Sixteen: Manuel Carizza
Week Seventeen: Nicolás Vergallo
Week Eighteen: Juan José Imhoff
Week Nineteen: Alvaro Galindo
Week Twenty: Maximilano Bustos

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