Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gabriel Ascárate signs for the Glasgow Warriors

Ascárate in the Vodacom Cup

Argentina´s squad for the 2012 Rugby Championship had a notable lack of specialist midfielders. With neither Felipe Contepomi nor Gonzalo Tiesi available Santiago Phelan opted to use Santiago Fernández andn Marcelo Bosch as the centres throughout the Rubgy Championship. While both players are accomplished in Europe their natural positions is in fact flyhalf. Neither player featured against France or Italy in June 2012 with other players instead getting game time. One such player was Gabriel Ascárate. The Tucumán midfielder earned the call up after having impressed for Los Pampas XV in the Vodacom Cup and having been on stand-by for Rugby World Cup 2011.

Ascárate would get further opportunities in 2013 with Santiago Phelan again resting a host of professional players for the June test matches. This saw the 25 year old play in the three tests, making one appearance in the starting lineup and playing twice from the bench including in the win over Georgia. In total Ascárate has played eight times for Argentina but has never played in a full strength side. He made his debut against Chile in December 2007 in a match in San Juan which featured a host of other debutants including Lucas González Amorosino and Benjamín Urdapilleta.

He remains an option for Argentina but in an outside manner due to Phelan having the likes of Bosch, Contepomi, Fernández and Tiesi all in the squad for the 2013 Rugby Championship. Joining them are others who can play in the midfield and have done so previously - Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga, Joaquín Tuculet and Horacio Agulla. Ascárate, in other words, is up against a lenghtly list of players with experience of playing at the top level in one or more of the Aviva Premiership, Rabo Direct Pro 12 and the Top 14.  

Having impressed last season in France for second division club Carcassone Ascárate is now to continue his professional career by playing at the elite level. He has signed for the 2013-2014 season to play in Scotland for the Glasgow Warriors. As such Ascárate is to fly the Argentine flag for the Scottish side and continue to legacy left behind of former Pumas Bernardo Stortoni and Federico Martín Aramburu. In moving to Scotland Ascárate stands a good chace of getting regular game time due to the club missing Scottish international Peter Horne to injury and having lost veteran Graeme Morrison to retirement. Ascárate can also play fullback and did so for Carcassone where he was also used at flyhalf. The move offers him a great opportunity to advace his career and push for further international honors.

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