Tuesday, May 28, 2013

UAR confirm Argentina v Georgia will be played in San Juan

The Estadio Bicentenario in San Juan will host Argentina v Georgia on June 22
After much deliberation Argentina´s match schedule is now officially confirmed. Los Pumas will begin igts international season with a three match home series against Englanf and Georgia. With Resistencia having been strongly rumoured but never confirmed as the host city for June´s test match between Argentina and Georgia today´s announcement from the UAR that the game wll instead be played in San Juan comes as a surprize. In confirming San Juan for the match Resistencia unfortunately misses out. Argentina did, however, play a match in Resistencia in 2011 against the French Barbarians. 

It means the stadium will host a Pumas match for the third time and so so in consecutive years after Argentina took on a South American XV in June 2011 and kicked-off its campaign last June with a test against Italy. Argentina delivered a strong performance on both occassions and it should be expected to make it three out of three in what is to be a significantly easier match than the two against England in Salta and Buenos Aires. The demands of playing three tests matches in a short space of time combined with the selection history of Santiago Phelan suggest that the side that faces Georgia will be made up of players who are reserves against England or out of the team. Indeed, in 2012 Phelan rotated players in June with some heroes from the first two tests missing out on playing in the test in Tucumán. 

With Western Argentina also hosting Argentina v South Africa in the 2013 Rugby Championship the region of Cuyo is set to host to tests this year. It is part of the UAR´s policy of taking matches to the people in an effort to reach out and utilize venues across Argentina to assist in the growing popularity of the sport and of the national rugby team. For this same reason the match against Georgia may well be the last chance the locals have to attend a Pumas match for quite some time as there are no shortage of cities in Argentina capable of hosting test rugby. 

Argentina v Sul Americano XV 2011 in San Juan

Argentina v Italy 2012 in San Juan

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