Monday, July 2, 2012

Argentine Leandro Cedaro recognised by Rugbyrama in the XV of the season of ProD2

The Argentine lock Leandro Cedaro has been named by Rugbyrama (the website of French rugby newspaper Midi Olympique) in the team of the season for Pro D2.
Leandro Cedaro selected by
Rugbyrama as a top lock of Pro D2

The team was selected by a system of awarding stars to the top performing players in each match, and then selecting the team of the season with most amount of stars. Obviously with this system of selecting, the Rugbyrama teams rewards the most consistent players for the whole season, players who spent a fair amount of time on international duty or spent some of the season injured were at a disadvantage of getting in this team.

Cedaro who won 17 stars, was the only player from the Americas to make either the Top 14 or Pro D2 team of the season, it was noted that he was "the axis of the pack" of the promoted side Mont-de-Marsan and that he was "a complete player, excellent in almost all compartments of the game".

Cedaro helped Mont-de-Marsan to promotion, however he will not play in the Top 14 with them next season as he signed with La Rochelle who lost in the playoffs. Neither will Cedaro be playing for the Pumas in the future either, as he pledged allegiance to Italy by playing for their representative side in the  IRB Nations Cup this year.

It is a shame for the Pumas to have lost a player considered one of the best locks in Pro D2. The Pumas have recently been selecting Esteban Lozada who has not impressed during his time at Edinburgh, and Julio Farías Cabello who is now approaching the end of his career, so Cedaro may well have had a good chance of representing the Pumas in the future.

Curiously, the Italians over the past 10 years have only really produced one lock in Marco Bortolami, otherwise their first choice over that period locks have all been foreigners of Italian descent, Carlo Antonio del Fava and Quintin Geldenhuys who are both of South African origin, and Santiago Dellapè who like Cedaro is of Argentine origin. There is a good chance we will see Cedaro represent the full Italy side in the future.

Whilst no other players from the Americas were named in either the Top 14 or Pro D2 teams of the season, Rugbyrama also listed the players who had the second and third amount of stars awarded to them throughout the season.
33 year old Sergio Valdes still one
of the best locks of Pro D2

The experienced 33 year old Chilean lock Sergio Valdes was named as second by one star behind Cedaro in the Pro D2 team of the season. Valdes played every match of the season for Pau who he joined from another Pro D2 side Auch for last season. Valdes will be joined at Pau next season by another Chilean lock Pablo Huete who has signed from Castres.

Meanwhile Lucas González Amorosino was named the third best full back of the Top 14 winning 21 stars, three behind Jean-Marcelin Buttin who was named in the team with 24, as explained earlier Amorosino was at a disadvantage in making this team by playing in the World Cup, so getting named as nearly making the team is a good achievement for jinky Argentine, who had a great season and showed Leicester who wasted him what they were missing out on. Amorosino was also named as Montpellier's "revelation of the season" by the same site Rugbyrama.

Surprisingly there is no mention of winger Juan Imhoff in the Rugbyrama team of the season, not even as second or third amount of stars, which is surprising given his importance to the Racing-Métro side this season.

Players from the Americas who have featured in end of season awards:

Aviva Premiership Dream Team (selected by the ESPN TV pundits)
4. Samu Manoa (Northampton & USA)
Juan Pablo Socino named best 12
in the RFU Championship for two
seasons in a row
14. Horacio Agulla (Leicester & Argentina)

* Marcos Ayerza (Leicester & Argentina) was selected in both the Independent's and the Daily Telegraph's team of the season.

RFU Championship Dream Team (selected by the coaches of the Championship teams)
12. Juan Pablo Socino (Nottingham & Argentina)

Pro D2 XV of the Season (selected by Rugbyrama)
5. Leandro Cedaro (Mont-de-Marsan & Italy)

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