|Debutant Joaquín Tuculet|
The 2011-2012 French Top 14 season got underway this past weekend with a full round of seven matches. Due to the beginning of The Rugby Championship there were twenty-two French based Pumas not featuring for their clubs. French site rugbyrama spoke of this on Saturday as it asked the question of whether this is the beginning of the end of Argentine players in France. The lack of Argentine players was certainly one of the major things to come out of the first round of the competition. Argentina usually have numerous players in action but this round there were only two. Of the teams missing Pumas to The Rugby Championship the team that seemed to suffer the most was Montpellier.
Debuting in the competition were Mont de Marsan and Grenoble who won promotion from the Pro d2 last season. Both will need to start strongly to give themselves a good chance of remaining in the Top 14. Grenoble impressed by winning and doing so away from home but Mont de Marsan were outclassed by Biarritz. No team was overly impressive but Biarritz was the only one to collect a bonus point for scoring four or more tries. The Americas was represented by players from Argentina, Canada and the United States of America. All three nations had players starting for their repsective French clubs.
Toulouse 23-22 Castres
Toulouse were without Patricio Albacete and Nicolás Vergallo. Uruguayan forward Rodrigo Capó Ortega did not feature for Castres.
Perpignan 15-21 Toulon
Toulon won the match in Perpignan and did so without Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe. Perpignan could be in contention for relegation this season as the club did not recrute the ideal players to make last seasons diabolical performances a thing of the past.
Bordeaux Begles 28-29 Grenoble
The home side was without Rafael Carballo and Nicolás Sánchez who are in the Pumas squad for The Rugby Championship. Neither lpayed against South Africa though. Joaquín Tuculet made his debut for Grenoble from the bench. He arrived at the club folowing playing in the Aviva Premiership last season for the Sale Sharks.He played 30 minutes for Grenoble.
Bayonne 6-13 Clermont Auvergne
Canadian enforcer, Jamie Cudmore started in ther secondrow for Clermont. He is to be the only Canadian in the Top 14 again this season.
Biarritz 35-10 Mont de Marsan
USA winger Taku Ngwenya started on the right wing for the winners. Marcelo Bosch and Manuel Carizza were playing for Los Pumas. Francisco Goméz Kodela was unused.
Agen 20-24 Racing Métro
The Parisians were missing four Pumas - Alvaro Galindo, Juan Martín Hernández, Juan Imhoff and Juan Pablo Orlandi. All featured in the loss agaisnt South Africa in Cape Town. Secondrower Esteban Lozada made his debut for Agen after having joined the club from Edinburgh. It is his secomd time playing in France as he previously played for Toulon. Centre Miguel Avramovic and winger Belisario Agulla were both unused.
Stade Français 32-16 Montpellier
Both teams were missing Pumas with Montpellier missing a whopping six of them. Stade Français had one Argentine in the team with Italian captain, Sergio Parisse recieving game time from the bench. USA forward, Scott LaValla started in the backrow for the winners.
Stade Français 5
Racing Métro 4
Mont de Marsan 0
Toulouse vs Castres
Perpignan vs Toulon
Bayonne vs Clermont