|Photo: UAR - Juan Imhoff v Australia on the Gold Coast|
One of the themes touched on regularly by both readers and editors of Rugby World Cup - Argentina 2023 was the selection of Horacio Agulla for the Pumas 11 shirt and, thus the non-selection of Juan Imhoff. Both players had good 2011-2012 seasons in Europe with Agulla playing right wing for the Leicester Tigers and Imhoff playing left wing for Racing Métro. On form both needed to be in the starting lineup for The Rugby Championship as did Gonzalo Camacho who was named Game Changer of the Season in the Aviva Premiership for his performances for the Exeter Chiefs. It was speculated back in May that Santiago Phelan may want to test out this possibility by playing Agulla at inside centre to enable a 14-11 combination of Camacho and Imhoff. It did not eventuate as Agulla was 11 for all six matches and Camacho was 14.
The November internationals have seen different selections traditionally. In 2010, for instance Phelan started Lucas González Amorosino on the wing instead of Agulla. At Rugby World Cup 2011 Agulla started all matches with Imhoff getting game time off the bench in all matches except v Georgia when he started. Imhoff was a try scorer in that match and set up another. He also scored against Romania as a replacement. In The Rugby Championship he scored one v Australia in Rosario and set up another v Australia on the Gold Coast. He would appear to be the strongest finisher of all the Argentine backs. For running rugby to succeed it is logical that he starts matches for his country. Agulla and Camacho were the starting wingers at the World Cup but neither scored a try. Since then both have scored great tries but both are arguably in the starting lineup for their defense more than their attack.
Who should start v Wales to open Los Pumas´ November tour?
Horacio Agulla Highlights
Juan Imhoff Highlights