Monday, December 31, 2012

Should Martín Bustos Moyano play in June or in The Rugby Championship?

One of the features of 2012 was the selection but non-use of Montpellier´s Martín Bustos Moyano in international colors. The 27 year old made his international debut for Argentina as an amateur player in 2008 against Chile but this is his only test appearance to date. He has since been in squads  touring Europe and was a part of the squad for The Rugby Championship in 2012 but recieved no game time. He is seemingly the victim of Argentina now having four very talented wingers in Horacio Agulla, Gonzalo Camacho, Lucas González Amorosino and Juan Imhoff. All four, like Bustos Moyano, have been recieving plenty of game time in Europe but unlike Bustos Moyano none are goalkicking options for international rugby. The emergence of Nicolás Sánchez as Argentina´s starting flyhalf has taken away from the arguement that Bustos Moyano ought to be in the starting lineup or, in the least, on the bench due to his goalkicking abilities. 

Bustos Moyano scored 29 points against Stade Français on Sunday, scoring a try and kicking ten goals in what was a 100% success record for le buteur. His try was should have caught the attention of Santiago Phelan due to the fact that his small frame was able to break tackles as he went over in the left corner. His size has been going against him playing in national colors. Horacio Agulla is a large winger while Camacho is a small one who plays like a large one and both González Amorosino and Imhoff are true finishers with much more speed than the stereotypical Pumas winger. Agulla could well be playing 13 and González Amorosino back at 15 in The Rugby Championship and if so this would not actually prove Bustos Moyano with more chances of making the squad. He also appears to be behind Manuel Montero with the Los Pampas XV winger highly likely to be used ahead of the Montpellier goalkicker due to his size and speed. As such the possibility of Bustos Moyano appearing in The Rugby Championship in 2013 look slim while he would look to be a very strong contender to feature in the June internationals against England and Georgia possibly in a backthree featuring himself, Montero and Santiago Cordero. 

Bustos Moyano broke Juan Martín Hernández´s Argentine Top 14 Record


  1. Bustos Moyano won't play in the Rugby Championship as there are better options.

    Imhoff and Camacho are clearly ahead of him on the wings and will likely be so for some time. Add to that Montero who is only 21 and the chances for MBM seem less likely.

    His goal kicking could have slotted him in above some better players, but not now Sanchez is there as you mentioned.

    Amorosino's form has slumped this season quite badly, so I reckon the best chance for MBM to get in the side is at 15. But he doesn't play there often, and Hernandez has that position for now.

    By the way, Bustos Moyano is 6 foot 1 inch, which is bigger than Horacio Agulla and Camacho so I don't know what you're talking about regarding his size being an issue.

    And Argentina has actually normally tended to select much smaller wingers than other nations with Albanese and Borges being two of the Pumas most capped wingers of the past decade.

    Also Agulla is hardly a big winger compared to the likes of the behemoths Cuthbert, North, Montero, Banahan, Savea, Malzieu, Visser who we have seen in international rugby recently and all are over 6 foot 4 inches.

    How does Camacho "play like a big winger" either? He can't possibly play like one as he possess the power and physique to do so.

    I don't understand you're point about big wingers, as Argentina certainly don't have a big history of picking big behemoths in the backs like Wales currently are doing.

    Montero is actually the first big winger that Argentina have actually had in recent times. They have never had a player of his style available previously.

    1. When talking about big and small wingers the factor, in my opinion, is not height but rather size in terms of build. Horacio Agulla is not tall but has a very solid build. This does not mean Agulla is big by global standards but overall he would be considered a big winger in Pumas terms. I look at the players build to determine whether I think the player is a big or a small winger.

      Fiji is a test nation that regularly produces big wingers yet the pair from RWC 2003 (Tuilevu and Caucaunibuca) were both shorter than Martín Bustos Moyano. Manuel Montero dwarfs both in terms of height but not weight.

      There is also a tendency from many coaches to field a big and a small winger. It is not always the case but it appears highly common. i.e. Clerc and Huget together, Agulla and Camacho, Rougerie and Dominici, Lomu and Wilson, Pietersen and Habana, Savea and Jane, Tuilagi and Lemi, Cohen and Robinson.

      An exception being 1999 when Lomu and Umaga (big wingers) faced Dominici and Bernat-Salles (small). On that occassion the two small wingers got the better of one of the big ones as Umaga arguably played his worst match ever, exp in international colors (well worth creating a youtube video about it).

      Just briefly some other players and sides from the past decade or so:

      Wales - North, Brew, Cuthbert (big), Williams, Halfpenny, Mark Jones (small)

      France - Rougerie, Huget (big) Heymans, Dominici, Clerc (small)

      New Zealand - Lomu, Savea, Sivivatu, Rokocoko, Toeava(big) Howlett, Wilson, Jane (small)

      South Africa - Pietersen, Ndungane (big) Habana, Aplon, Palse (small)

    2. Aled Brew (6'1") in the same category as North and Cuthbert who are both behemoths looks strange.

      Some of the wingers like Brew you mentioned are more just average rather than big and small. I would put Agulla in this category as well, you're right that he is a solid build but not near the same category as say Tuilagi or Banahan who were two of the heaviest backs at the 2011 RWC.

      Argentina has always had relatively small wingers compared to some of the modern gigantic wingers like Cuthbert named above. Pretty much all of them of the past decade were either small (Albanese, Borges, Camacho) or average (Aramburu, Piossek, Agulla, Bustos Moyano).

      Manuel Montero at and 6'4" 103kg, is almost certainly the biggest Argentine wing I've ever seen. And perhaps the first wing of that build and style the Pumas have ever had available.

      Likewise, in terms of genuine pace and agility, I think Imhoff is the most athletically gifted runner the Pumas have had in my memory.

    3. The development of Argentine wingers comes down to the exposure of players to professionalism. Many coming though the PladAR system have proven to be superior to established players. As you point out Argentina has not had the same calibre of wingers as other comparable nations. Depth has at time been very low as shown in the reserves for RWC 2007.

      It´s quite a safe bet at this stage to say Argentina will field a combination of Imhoff and Montero on the wings at England 2015. Quite the combination to defeat the All Blacks in the Pool match perhaps.