|Awaiting Operation - Figallo will not play again this year|
A significant blow has hit global rugby with confirmation in the French media that the world´s best tighthead prop Juan Figallo will not play again this year.
Having been considered by rugby media throughout the world as the best prop in the Rugby Championship Juan Figallo was a player that many were looking forward to seeing play this season in the Top 14 and Heineken Cup. Sadly though the Montpellier front-rower is out of action and will only be playing again in February or March.
Figallo was injured playing for Argentina against New Zealand in the round five Rugby Championship fixture in La Plata. He had then been named to face Australia but had to pull out days before the match and was replaced by Juan Pablo Orlandi. After undergoing a medical assesment it has become clear that Figallo´s injury requires treatment. He suffered a cervical disc herniation and is expected to undergo an operation in Bordeaux shortly.
Argentina will now have to find a replacement for the player known as Chipi for next month´s internationals against England, Italy and Wales. There are no shortage of options but Figallo is arguably a player that cannot be replaced. Juan Pablo Orlandi started in place of Figallo against Australia in the round six match in Rosario and while the scrum remained solid the general work was not equal to that of Figallo. Orlandi slipped a tackle which gave Israel Folau one of his three tries. He was then replaced early in the second half by Matias Díaz who will play Super Rugby next season for the Highlanders.
Díaz is one of five potential players to take the spot of Figallo. The others are Orlandi and three others based in Europe - Maximilano Bustos who is another tighhthead prop contracted to Montpellier, Francisco Goméz Kodela of Biarritz and Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro of Welsh region the Newport-Gwent Dragons. All have been used in the past eighteen months by Phelan for international duty.