Saturday, November 3, 2012

Eusébio Guiñazu to return to South Africa and joins the Southern Kings

Eusébio Guiñazu
The new Super Rugby franchise based in Port Elizabeth the Southern Kings have added another Argentine to their squad.

After the signature of scrum half Nicolás Vergallo from Toulouse, the Kings have signed the versatile front rower Eusébio Guiñazu who was a free agent after being released by Biarritz in June. Guiñazu returns to South Africa after a brief stint with the Western Province a few years ago.

Guiñazu is capable of playing all three front row positions, but whilst this has helped him be a useful signing for teams in search of short term cover, he has never had the chance to settle in one position and become a regular in a side at domestic level in one position.

In the June tests, Guiñazu played both prop and hooker, but struggled in those matches against Italy and France. Alongside Francisco Gómez Kodela his scrummaging was poor and his lineout throwing was inaccurate.

He was only really named in the Argentina squad for the Rugby Championship as second choice hooker due to the lack of depth in this position for Argentina behind Agustín Creevy. When Creevy suffered an injury, Guiñazu however upped his game for the Rugby Championship, and was decent and even kept the starting position ahead of Creevy when he returned from injury, despite Creevy being by a mile the best Argentine hooker over the past season.

With Guiñazu rarely settling into a position in the front row throughout his career, from an Argentine perspective it would be best for him to just remain as a hooker and just a hooker only. With Creevy Argentina's only hooker playing regularly at the top level domestically, if Guiñazu can play regularly in Super Rugby it will be a boost for Argentina to have a reserve hooker available who has plenty of top level game time behind him.

If Guiñazu can maintain his level he showed in the Rugby Championship, then the Pumas should be sorted for hooker in the short term with Creevy being an outstanding hooker in the loose (just lineout throwing his issue) and Guiñazu after being substandard for the most of his career has shown he can be competent at international level.

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