Friday, March 8, 2013

Americas Tour - Events ahead of the weekend

With the weekend almost here it is time to take a look at the events that have taken place over the past few days and also point out what there is to look forward to over this coming weekend.

A two test series is in the works between Brazil and Mexico for next month. Brazil will host Mexico in São José dos Campos and in São Paulo on April 16 and 20. It is yet to be confirmed and the dates could be changed but the matches are looking likely to go ahead.

Argentina´s Rugby World Cup 2011 captain Felipe Contepomi wants another chance to play for Los Pumas and is targetting a place in the team to face England and Georgia in June. The 35 year-old admits that his career is almsot over and wants to play for his country in front of his home fans. He is also in line to play for Stade Français for the final six rounds of the French Top 14 season. He will not feature in The Rugby Championship but admits to having mixed feelings after wanting to play in the competition for thirteen years, since Rugby World Cup 1999.

Argentine fullbacks Juan Martín Hernández of Racing Métro and Lucas González Amorosino of Montpellier will face off at fullback on Friday evening in Montpellier in a Top 14 match. They have both been named to start for their Top 14 clubs in a round 21 match that has a lot on the line. Both need to win to stay in the play-off´s zone. Joining JMH and LGA will be four other Pumas with Agustín Creevy and Maximilano Bustos starting for Montpellier and Juan Imhoff and Alvaro Galindo starting for the visitors. Montpellier will also have two Pumas on the bench with Nahuel Lobo covering loosehead prop and Martín Bustos Moyano covering the outside backs. Juan Pablo Orlandi will be a tighthead prop replacement for Racing Métro.

Los Pampas XV´ debut in the 2013 Vodacom Cup sees history being made as for the first time a Puma will play against the Argentine team. Los Pumas backrower Tomás Leonardí confirmed on his twitter account on Tuesday that he will play for Eastern Province against Los Pampas XV. Eastern Province´s Vodacom Cup team is a feeder for the Super Rugby side, the Southern Kings. Leonardí is signed to the Kings who will face the Durban based franchise, the Sharks on Saturday. Third choice Pumas scrumhalf Nicolás Vergallo will make his Super Rugby debut from the bench for the Kings.

Two of Argentina´s Italian stars Sergio Parisse and Martín Castrogiovanni will play against the British and Irish Lions this year. The pair have been named along with three others as members of the Barbarians which will face the Lions in Twickenham and in Hong Kong as part of the warm-up matches ahead of the Lions three test tour of Australia in June.

Chilean preperations are well underway for the 2013 international season. The governing body of Chilean rugby, Feruchi confirmed this week that the national mens team and the under 20 mens team prepare for international duty by facing Argentine provincial teams. A 32 man squad was also named ahead of the IRB Junior World Trophy which Chile is to host this year.

Professionalism continues to grow in the USA with the confirmation of Hawaii´s Pila Taufa, in the national team Rugby Sevens residency program at the Olympic Training Center. In signing Taufa joins Brett Thompson, Mike Te'o and Nate Augsburger on a part-time contract.

Tickets are on sale for Canada´s three home test matches in May and June. Canada will take on the USA, Fiji and Tonga in Edmonton, Ottawa and Kingston as part of North America´s first ever participation in the Pacific Nations Cup. 

Argentine referee Francisco Pastrana will make his debut appearance in Super Rugby this weekend as he tasks control of the all-Australian encounter between the Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Reds. 

Argentine rugby author, Sebastián Perasso talked to Rugby Fun this past week about rugby in Colombia. He has positive comments about the growth of the sport in South America´s second most populated cuontry. Perasso is the author of the saga of rugby books titled Rugby Didáctico.

Suggested Site of the Week
Anyone interested in leatrning more about Uruguayan rugby and having the eternal question answered of whether or not Los Teros can again qualify for the World Cup should check out Rugby News. It has all the information about Uruguay and is updated constantly making it essencial reading for followers of the global game. It also contains global news in general.

Video of the week
A video appeared on youtube several hours ago showing a full replay of the Rugby World Cup 2007 Bronze final between France and Argentina from Paris. It was posted by a Russian going by the name of Кирилл Добычин. Rugby fans should indeed subscribe to his channel.

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