Monday, January 28, 2013

Gonzalo Tiesi signs for London Welsh

Tiesi scores v Scotland in 2009
Argentine specialist outside centre, Gonzalo Tiesi is set to return to professional rugby and to England. The 27 year old has been in London since Saturday as he makes his return to  professional rugby and to England official. Tiesi formerly played in England for London Irish from 2005-2008 and the Harlequins from 2008-2010 before moving to France where he played for Stade Français from 2010-2012. He returned to Buenos Aires to recover and made a surprize return to Los Pumas for Argentina´s November tour of Wales, France and Ireland. Tiesi started against Wales and had a very good performance, particularly in defense as he was able to shut down the bigger Welsh centres and wingers. His return to play in England will see him play for a third London club - London Welsh. The move has been confirmed according to Argentine sources.  London Welsh should announce Tiesi´s arrival and details of the contract shortly. Tiesi´s move to London Welsh comes days after Pumas backrower Leonardo Senatore signed for the Worcester Warriors. 

Tiesi was Argentina´s first choice outside centre from 2008-2011 and also started a lot of matches earlier. His career has been dominated by injury problems with him needing to undergo surgery to repair damages sustained both in his shoulder and knee. He was to start Rugby World Cup 2007 in the 13 shirt outside Felipe Contepomi but was injured in the final warm-up matches and Marcelo Loffreda instead prepared to face France with Manuel Contepomi as the outside centre. Tiesi recovered to face both Georgia and Namibia but by that time Loffreda had decided on playing the Contepomi twins as his centre pairing. 

He started in the 13 shirt throughout the 2008-2011 period and was Argentina´s 13 to open its World Cup campaign agaisnt England in Dunedin. He was seriously injured in the match and took on further part in the tournament. His appearance against Wales in November 2012 completed a remarkable comeback. In 2013 he is likely to be key for Argentina and should get the nod ahead of Marcelo Bosch for the 13 shirt. Bosch is naturally a flyhalf who can play elsewhere and has appeared to be most effective at inside centre. Tiesi has played 32 times for Argentina since debuting as a 19 year old in 2004. 

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