Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Joaquín Domínguez Extends Contract with Edinburgh until 2015

Domínguez Extends term at Edinburgh
Uncapped Argentine centre Joaquín Domínguez will play for Edinburgh in the Rabo Direct Pro 12 and Heineken Cup until the completion of the 2014-2015 season.

The 26 year old arrived in Scotland in September on a two week trial but after winning the approval of the management he was signed until the end of 2013 to give the squad options as injury cover. His move has proven to be screwed as he has been able to obtain plenty of game time for Edinburgh in starting five out of six league matches.

The SIC mid-fielder left Buenos Aires during the later stages of the URBA Top 14 season which meant he missed out on representing his club in the play-offs. Had he remained in Argentina he would now be in the post-season but his move to Scotland has seen him emerge as a player in consideration fort higher honors. 

Argentina is in need or more options to play in the centres. Recent years have been dominated by fly-halves playing out of position with the likes of Felipe Contepomi, Marcelo Bosch and Santiago Fernández being main-stays in the Pumas mid-field. One of the reasons has been injury with Gonzalo Tiesi having missed out on many opportunities in 2011 and 2012. But in 2013, with him fit,  Santiago Phelan continued to field play-makers as centres. 

The results have been mixed as Bosch, for instance, has been indicated by many as having been the best Pumas back in 2013. Fernández has been accepted as being a reliable defender and good second fly-half option  while Contepomi, at 36, was able to start test match rugby in the Rugby Championship. 

With Rugby World Cup 2015 now less than twenty test matches away Daniel Hourcade will need to determine who is first and second choice players are in every position before the close of 2014. The mid-field looms as a position with spots very much yet to be confirmed. Bosch and Tiesi are the leaders for outside centre while Fernández is, based on reputation, expected to be the inside centre in the 2014 Rugby Championship. Alternatives include Horacio Agulla completing the move from wing on a permanent basis or either Manuel Montero or Joaquín Tuculet moving to centre.

Gabriel Ascárate and Javier Rojas are other specialist mid-field options. Both toured Europe last month while Domínguez was in Scotland. Hourcade has praised both players and gave Ascárate a start against Italy and utilized Rojas as a replacement. Rojas is based in Argentina while Ascárate plays for Edinburgh's professional Scottish rivals the Glasgow Warriors. 

Domínguez will be up against both players for a place in the Pumas squad in 2014 and with Hourcade not being able to select European based players for both June and the Rugby Championship the name Joaquín Domínguez is one likely to become increasingly used in the rugby media.

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