Sunday, April 28, 2013

Miguel Avramovic set to sign for Stade Français?

Avramovic gave his fairwell´s to the Agen home crowd recently.
With Agen having been relegated from the French Top 14 to the Pro d2 there are a number of players with clauses in their contracts which enable them to, if desired, leave  to join a different club. Agen is home to three Pumas currently and of them one is certain not to be playing for the club next season. Centre Miguel Avramovic has been playing his rugby for Agen since 2010 but will officially be moving on as his contract expires at the end of the current season. Put differently, the final round match in which Agen will face Toulon will be his final appearance for the club. 

The versatile Avramovic is equally at hom in either centre position and has been used as a regular starter for Agen. This season he has played twelve Top 14 matches thus far with eleven of them being in the starting lineup. If it were not for injuries the total number would likely have been more. Avramovic has scored three tries for Agen in the Top 14 this season with the most recent being Agen´s round 25 match against Perpignan  in which the relegated club ended the play-off´s hopes of the 2009 French Champions by winning the match 23-15. It was a bitter-sweet result as it came too late to save Agen but it could well have aided the chances of Avramovic in getting game time with Los Pumas. 

Despite debuting for Argentina in 2005 Avramovic´s test career is restricted to eleven test match appearances. All eleven tests have been in the starting lineup with his debut coming against Japan in a warm-up test for Argentina´s match against the British and Irish Lions in Cardiff. He was one of three debutants against Japan with the other two being Agustín Creevy and Juan Manuel Leguizamón. Avramovic would play three more tests before getting his big chance - starting against England at Twickenham in 2006. He also started the following week as England defeated Italy in Rome but Avramovic was left out of the squad for Rugby World Cup 2007 and was also unable to make the selection four years later. 

Now aged 31 Avramovic´s career would appear to be in its final stages in terms of test match rugby. With Horacio Agulla, Marcelo Bosch Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga and Gonzalo Tiesi all certain to miss the June test matches Avramovic could well be selected as a centre. The hole left by Agulla and company would be hard to bridge from players from Los Pampas XV which could see opportunities for fringe players such as Gabriel Ascárate and Joaquín Tuculet. They were used in the 13 shirt against France and Italy in June 2012 with Felipe Contepomi playing 12. A similar selection looms for June 2013 but the cvhances of Tuculet being promoted to the squad for the Rugby Championship are high. 

While his rumoured move to Stade Français would boost his chances of breaking back into the squad. The move to Paris has been mentioed over the past few days in Argentine sources and should it eventuate then the club could well have a Pumas centres combination with Avramovic joining Rodríguez Gurruchaga. It would be Avramovic´s fourth European club after he previously played in the Aviva Premiership for Worcester in the 2006-2007 season and subsequently played for Montauban and Agen thereafter. He also had game time in the Vodacom Cup for Los Pampas XV.  

The future of winger Belisario Agulla and secondrower Esteban Lozada remain unknown. Both, like Avramovic, will be considered for game time against England and Georgia in June. 

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