Saturday, March 2, 2013

Americas Tour - Events ahead of the weekend

Starting today Rugby World Cup Argentina 2023 will be posting a weekly piece covering the rugby headlines of events in North and South America ahead of the weekend. In addition to Argentina, Canada, Uruguay and the United States all having players in action this weekend in leading European competitions there is a los that has been happening elsewhere. Friday evening featured players from three of the four countries in action in the Top 14, Rabo Direct Pro 12 or Aviva Premiership. Alberto di Bernardo stared for Benetton Treviso in an unlikely 29-29 draw in Belfast.  

Uruguay has a new rugby jersey and it will be worn by the national team at the upcoming Rugby Sevens World Cup in Russia. The national mens team, Los Teros, will debut in the new uniform in May as Uruguay face Chile and Brazil in the final round of South American qualification for Rugby World Cup 2015. The winner will face the runner-up of Canada and the USA at a yet to be confirmed time, but it will likely be in November 2013.

Pumas secondrower Tomás Vallejos Cinalli asked for a release from his contract with Welsh region the Scarlets so that he could play for Los Pampas XV in South Africa´s Vodacom Cup. Vallejos Cinalli was not getting a lot of game time in Wales. His move home should increase his chances of playing for his country. He returned home after meeting with Sanitago Phelan last weekend. The Pumas coached told him - go!

In playing for Los Pampas XV it will also mean that Vallejos Cinalli will be elligible to play in June against England and Georgia. Leading secondrowers Patricio Albacete and Manuel Carizza are certain to be rested. Despite being signed by Racing Métro as a medical joker Manuel Carizza is certain to be signed in a long term deal by a club for next season and beyond. He will again start for the Top 14 side this weekend. Racing Métro take on Grenoble at home. 

Pumas inside centre and occassional flyhalf Santi Fernández is out injured. He fractured a toe playing for Montpellier last weekend against Castres. He will be out of action for the coming weeks which is bad news for Montpellier due to the involvement of François Trinh-Duc in the Six Nations. 

Outside centre Gonzalo Tiesi is also injured. The new arrival at London Welsh will not play this weekend due to suffering a minor jaw injury last weekend.  He will return in time fo the following match. The club will still have a Puma with Julio Farías Cabello starting in this weekends match against Saracens. Canada´s Phil MacKenzie will also start. 

Fernández´s World Cup and 2012 Rugby Championship teammate, Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga is back playing rugby for the first time this season. He has been named on the bench for his French club Stade Français who will face powerhouses Clermont Auvergne today in Paris. Rodríguez Gurruchaga has played test erugby as a fullback and inside centre and his future is likely to be as an inside centre due to the depth Argentina has at fullback. 

Argentina´s Italian rugby captain Sergio Parisse has been named in the squad for Italy´s round four Six Nations match against England. he has been selected despite having been banned for criticizing a referee while playing for Stade Français last month. He joins fellow Argentine born players in the Italian side - Martín Castrogiovanni, Gonzalo Canale, Gonzalo Garcia, Luciano Orquera and Canadian Robert Barbieri.

Young Brazilian referee Henrique Platais has become the latest to be invited by the IRB to referee at the 2013 IRB Junior World Trophy. While Brazil is well down the list of leading countries and is still a very long way from being capable of competing at the IRB Junior World Trophy Platias will referee at the junior level´s B World Cup this year in Chile. Three others from South America will join Platais - Argentina´s Juan Sylvestre, Chile´s Felipe Balbontin and Joaquín Montes from Uruguay.

Sanzar CEO Greg Peters has Argentina in mind with an eye to Super Rugby expansion. He is also open to the possibility of Japan, Canada and the USA all being involved in Super Rugby into the future. The next expansion is set for 2016 and should certainly see Argentina added while others could well be penciled in for subsequent years.

Suggested site of the week
This Is American Rugby. it is a U.S. fans site covering all aspects of rugby in the country. It is a must for any follower of USA rugby or the global game. 

Video of the week
The new tribute to Juan Martín Hernández by youtuber ElliotJack is well worth a look. It features tries, goals, dropgoals and tackles from the Puma with footage spanning a decade as it features Hernández´s two tries against Romania from Rugby World Cup 2003. 

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