|CRÉDITO: UAR |
Fernández Lobbe and Leguizamón
There were more than a few surprized people when Argentine rugby coach Santiago Phelan announced his thirty man squad for the Rugby Championship. While there were places for junior players Pablo Matera and Matías Díaz the same was not true for flyhalf Patricio Fernández or fullback Santiago Cordero, two other junior players who impressed greatly for Argentina at the IRB Junior World Championship. Both players were left out due to Argentina having no shortage of senior players in their positions with Lucas González Amorosino, Juan Martín Hernández, Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga and Joaquín Tuculet all in the squad as fullbacks and Hernández also joining Nicolás Sánchez, Marcelo Bosch, Felipe Contepomi and Santiago Fernández in covering flyhalf.
While neither Santiago Cordero nor Patricio Fernández were announced in the thirty-man squad the youngsters remain well and truely in the set-up. The 19 and 18 year old players trained today with the Pumas squad at Marinas Golf. They were the only editions to the squad and the UAR confirmed that both players will continue training full time with the senior squad over the next two weeks. In other words the Pumas training squad for the Rugby Championship can be increased to thirty-two players and it is likely to be further expanded to thirty-four with all players in contention for game time against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
Two other players missing from the initial thirty-man squad were the South African based Tomás Leonardí ad Nicolás Vergallo. Both players played Super Rugby for the Southern Kings this season but Leonardí has confirmed that he will not be staying on. He has opted to end his stay with the franchise due to the frustration of not being able to get adequate game time despite having played very well in the pre-season. He remains on the look out for a new professional contract. Both Leonardí and Vergallo are expected to be confirmed as additional squad members for the Rugby Championship.