Friday, November 2, 2012

Felipe Contepomi returns for Los Pumas

Former captain, Contepomi returns
The UAR has confirmed that there have been three changes made to the squad to face Wales on November 10. Three players named by Santiago Phelan for the match will not feature and have been replaced. The Biarritz pair of centre Marcelo Bosch and tighthead prop Francisco Goméz Kodela will both miss out due to Biarritz having a Top 14 match against Perpignan on the same day. The players are avaliable for international duty but Phelan and co have decided to seek alternatives to face Wales and instead have them both for the matches against France and Ireland. The third change to the squad is injury forced with secondrower Patricio Albacete having been ruled out of all three test matches after he suffered a double fracture of the right orbital eye playing for Toulouse against Racing Métro yesterday in a round 10 Top 14 match. He has been repalced, for the match against Wales, by Tomás Vallejos Cinalli who is in the greater squad but was left out of the 27 man squad to open the tour at the Millenium Stadium. 

The changes are all significant and could spell some alterations to the makeup of the team with the possibility existing of Juan Martín Hernández and Felipe Contepomi reuniting together for the first time since November 2008. The posibility of this eventuating are not as strong as may appear at face value however due to the other players in the squad to face Wales. A more likely scenario would be Felipe Contepomi to be on the bench with Nicolás Sánchez and Gonzalo Tiesi forming a centres combination. Similarly an idea that could now gain support would be that of moving Horacio Agulla from the wing to outside centre. Such a possibility would now be perfect timing given the lack of game time that Gonzalo Tiesi has had in comparison to Marcelo Bosch and Horacio Agulla. It would also make sense given the characteristics of other players in contention for a starting place in the team. The likely starting fullback is Joaquin Tuculet who played in the position against Italy in June before moving to outside centre for the first test against France. As such, Phelan would have the freedom to name Contepomi on the bench as well as the young and highly promising Santiago Cordero. This would mean Tiesi would not feature in the 22. 

The loss of Albacete will mean one of two possibilities agaisnt Wales. Either Tomás Vallejos Cinalli or Julio Farías Cabello will start in the secondrow alongside Racing Métro´s new signing, Manuel Carizza. Both players have been used in the position this year by Phelan. Vallejos Cinalli played in one of the six games of The Rugby Championship. He replaced Carizza from the bench against New Zealand in La Plata. Farías Cabelo started in every match of The Rugby Championship in the backrow and also played all three of the June tests, with two of them being in the secondrow. He is now 34 years old and rumoured to be featuring in his final European tour with possible international retirement to be confirmed upon the completion of the three match tour. The better technical player to replace Albacete would be Vallejos Cinalli due to him being a specialist secondrower.

With Francisco Gómez Kodela missing out on the first test there is a possibility that Phelan will not name a Juan Gómez on the bench at all. Instead he may well utilize all three of Agustín Creevy, Eusebio Guinãzú and Bruno Postiglioni in the match day 22. All are hookers but both Guinãzú and Postiglioni can and have previously played at prop. As such a realistic scenario exists for Guinãzpu to be on the bench specifically as a replacement prop rather than hooker with Postiglini acting as back-up to Creevy who is likely to be the starting hooker. 

Squad to face Wales
Marcos Ayerza (Leicester Tigers, England)
Juan Figallo (Montpellier, France)
Juan Gómez (Los Pampas XV)

Agustín Creevy (Montpellier, France)
Eusebio Guinãzú (unattached)
Bruno Postiglino (Los Pampas XV)

Tomás Vallejos Cinalli  (Scarlets, Wales)
Manuel Carizza (Racing Métro, France)

Tomás De La Vega (Los Pampas XV)
Julio Farías Cabello (Los Pampas XV)
Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (Toulon, France)
Juan Manuel Leguizamón (Lyon OU, France)
Tomás Leonardí (Los Pampas XV)
Leonardo Senatore (Los Pampas XV)

Tomás Cubelli (Los Pampas XV)
Nicolás Vergallo (unattached)
Martín Landajo (Los Pampas XV)

Juan Martín Hernández (Racing Métro, France)
Nicolás Sánchez (Bordeaux-Begles, France)

Felipe Contepomi (Stade Français, France)
Gonzalo Tiesi (SIC)

Horacio Agulla (Bath, England)
Gonzalo Camacho (Exeter Chiefs, England)
Juan Imhoff (Racing Métro, France)
Manuel Montero (Los Pampas XV)

Santiago Cordero (Regatas)
Joaquin Tuculet (Grenoble, France)

Revised Suggested XV to face Wales
15 Joaquin Tuculet
14 Gonzalo Camacho
13 Horacio Agulla
12 Nicolás Sánchez
11 Juan Imhoff
10 Juan Martín Hernández
9 Martín Landajo
8 Juan Fernández Lobbe (Captain)
7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón 
6 Tomás De La Vega
5 Tomás Vallejos Cinalli
4 Manuel Carizza
3 Juan Figallo
2 Agustín Creevy
1 Marcos Ayerza

16 Bruno Postiglioni
17 Eusebio Guiñazú
18 Julio Farías Cabello
19 Tomás Leonardí
20 Tomás Cubelli
21 Felipe Contepomi
22 Santiago Cordero

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