Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tomás Leonardí makes his Super Rugby Debut

Leonardí impressed for Argentina
from the bench in 2012
One of the players to make an impressive contribution for Los Pumas in 2011 was backrower, Tomás Leonardí. The Buenos Aires forward played the bulk of Argentina´s tests as a second half replacement but also started for his country in the June internationals against Italy and France. Leonardí was one to really take his opportunity and was noticed as the Southern Kings signed him for the 2013 Super Rugby season. He made his first Super Rugby appearance for the franchise on Friday in Port Elizabeth as the Kings played host to the 2012 champions, the Chiefs. Leonardí was on the bench and came on midway through the secondhalf as a substitution.

Leonardí impressed as he tackled well, entered rucks correctly and got a linebreak. He played twenty-three minutes and surely will have impressed sufficiently to merit being in the starting lineup next weekend. Should he continue to play his way then there are very strong chances that he will be able to break into the starting lineup for Los Pumas this year. His style of play is well suited to playing open side flanker, despite him having come through the ranks as a number eight. Leonardpi is too small to be a test number eight and given the options in Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, Leonardo Senatore and Juan Manuel Leguizamón on the side of the scrum that Leonardí´s futire as a test player lies. 

The Kings were outplayed by last seasons champions as the Chiefs were deserved winners. The Chiefs´ four tries to two win puts the team in great shape as it leaves South Africa.  Los Pumas third choice scrumhalf, Nicolás Vergallo also featured for the Southern Kings. He came on two minutes from full time to play his second match of Sujper Rugby after having debuted last weekend. 

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