Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ignacio Corleto calls for a Professional Argentine Championship

One of Argentina´s greatest rugby products is 35 year old  former test fullback Ignacio Corleto. Known for scoring the opening try of Rugby World Cup 2007 Corleto was a player involved in the thick and the thin of Pumas rugby over a ten year career than began as a 20 year old against Japan in 1998. When Argentina won the bronze medal by finishing third in Rugby World Cup 2007 Corleto was playing for the final time at test level after an injury plagued career saw him miss out on countless opportunities. His total number of thirty-seven test appearances featured twelve matches in Rugby World Cup´s and he was distinguished for scoring tries in the opening match of two World Cup´s. Had he not been so unlucky with injuries and had Argentina been in the Rugby Championship a decade earlier then Corleto would likely have played around eighty test matches. 

Corleto left a hole which saw a number of players fill the void until the positional shift of Juan Martín Hernández from flyhalf back to fullback in 2012 appeared to solve the long standing issue of the Pumas 15 shirt. Corleto had been fullback in 1999 when Argentina eliminated Ireland from the World Cup and was also wearing the 15 shirt when Argentina was eliminated by the same side early four years later. Such was his importance in Argentine rugby that his views on the future of the sport in his country certainly make for essential reading. In the opinion of Corleto Argentina does not need a national club competition but, rather "something provincial, much more federal, more professional and for the amateur clubs to remain amateur.". In saying so Corleto drew a comparison with the French Top 14. He said that "accompanying set cities like Toulouse, Narbonne, Paris, that way you can differentiate what is amateur professionalism." 

Corleto also speaks as a vastly experienced player who played at the top as a professional in France. He was a French champion with Stade Français in 2003 and a Heineken Cup finalist in 2005. He played in France for a decade with three years being at Narbonne and seven in Paris. 

Source: Rugby Fun

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