Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Leguizamón completes 50 test caps

50 caps for Leguizamón. He will be joined by a player ten years younger in the run-on team.
A Pumas back-rower will lead the Argentine team out onto the field in Perth on Saturday but it will not be the captain Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe. Instead it will be his long time serving international colleague, Juan Manuel Leguizamón.

Leguizamón is a vivid case in point of just how hard it has been for Argentina. Kieran Read has played 54 tests for the All Blacks despite debuting after Rugby World Cup 2007. Leguizamón, meanwhile, was the starting number 8 against the British and Irish Lions in 2005. Indeed while Read was yet to be known outside of New Zealand Leguizamón was starting for Argentina at Rugby World Cup 2007 against the host nation France in arguably the most important match in Argentine rugby history - the opening game of the tournament. 

The 30 year old made his test debut for Argentina against Japan in April 2005 and was selected to face the Lions due to the non-availability of Goznalo Longo who was not released by Clermont Auvergne for the fixture due to it taking place in May and not June when clubs are obligated to make players available for international duty. Leguizamón´s performance against the Lions was impressive and resulted in him breaking into the main Pumas squad and getting signed to play for London Irish in the Aviva Premiership. In time he would also play for Stade Français and Lyon in France.

Leguizamón remains in the frame for Rugby World Cup 2015 and has become an important leader in the team. He will have the honor of leading out Argentina in Perth and taking the field with his long time close friend Gonzalo Tiesi. Santiago del Estero´s favorite son will become the twentieth Puma to earn 50 or more caps. Ahead of him are important names in the history of Argentine rugby including Mario Ledesma, Agustín Pichot, the Fernández Lobbe brothers, Diego Cuesta Silva, Omar Hasan, and Hugo Porta. Felipe Contepomi will earn his 85th cap in Perth and should be play against Australia and New Zealand in Argentina then he will overtake the record held by Lisandro Arbizu to become the most capped Puma of all time.

Leguizamón spoke with ESPN Sport Center. Click here to see what he had to say (in Spanish).

No comments:

Post a Comment