Friday, January 25, 2013

Retro Friday - Lisandro Arbizu creates try v Barbarians 1990

Lisandro Arbizu
Arbizu at VRAC
Lisandro Arbizu captained Argentina at Rugby World Cup 1999. He also played at Rugby World Cup 1991 and 1999 and was in the squad for Rugby World Cup 2003 but broke his leg in Argentina´s final warm-up match before the tournament. He returned to play for Argentina against the British and Irish Lions in Cardiff in 2005 at outside centre. He was called up as an emergency replacement due to the non-availability of 26 Argentine players who were not released by their clubs for the match. For Arbizu it was a return to a special stadium. He had featured for Argentina against Wales in the opening match for Rugby World Cup 1999 and had also played in the former Cardiff Arms Park for his country against the Barbarians in 1990 when he was just 19 years old. 

He was most well known for playing inside centre but he played flyhalf in his earlier days. He was at flyhalf against the Barbarians and, in a sign of things to come, he made an impressive break after fooling the defenders a combination of a clever little kick, a good side step, a hand-off on Robert Jones and then a well timed pass to give centre Santiago Meson a clear run to the line. Meson scored under the posts. It was Arbizu´s third appearance for Los Pumas. He was replacing Hugo Porta who at forty years of age had played his final match for Argentina one week earlier. Argentina had been badly beaten by England and Scotland and the emergence of Arbizu could begin a new era. He would go on to captain Argentina 48 times.

Arbizu, now aged 41 is still playing rugby. He plays in Spain for Valladolid Rugby Asociación Club (VRAC) in the Spanish League as a player-coach. He helped the club win the Spanish title last season but due to financial limitations the club could not meet the costs required to play in the Amlin Challenge Cup. Instead Bizkaia Gernika participated despite having only finished fifth in the Spanish competition. 

No comments:

Post a Comment