Thursday, May 15, 2014

RFU Championship: Juan Pablo Socino shortlisted for Championship Player of the Year

Photo The Yorkshire Post
Uncapped Argentine back Juan Pablo Socino is a finalist for the RFU Championship player of the year award. The twenty-five year old is preparing to play in the Aviva Premiership next season for the Newcastle Falcons but his current club, the Rotherham Titans remain in contention to secure promotion to the top flight of English rugby. Socino's continution has been fundamental to the succcess of the club this season and his performances continue to suggest that he is a Puma in the making. 

Argentine mid-fielder Juan Pablo Socino has been recognised as one of the outstanding players in the Greene King IPA Championship over the past few seasons, and has performed well on his return to the league.

Socino was named in the league's Dream Team in his first season with Rotherham in 2010/11, then after moving to Nottingham he was named in the Dream Team for the second year in a row.

It was at this point that the former Pumas U20 player had the offer to join Treviso and represent Italy, whilst also having an offer to play for the Argentina Jaguars side in the IRB Nations Cup. It is choice that several Argentines such as Martin Castrogiovanni have faced, but Socino opted to pursue the dream of representing the Pumas.

After a one season stint at Dax, Socino returned to Rotherham for the current season. He is the league's top point scorer with over 300 scored and has helped the Titans who are one of poorer teams in the tournament to a surprise run to the playoffs. He has been nominated for the Championship's player of the season and looks likely to again be named in the Dream Team, which would make it his 3rd selection.

Rotherham are still in the hunt for promotion as the underdogs lost the first leg of their semi final away to Bristol by just 3 points, but Socino will be playing in a top league next season regardless. The Argentine will leave Rotherham at the end of the season to join Newcastle, meaning he has had 4 one season stints at clubs in a row.

As yet Socino has unfortunately not had a look from the Pumas selectors, not even for the weakened June teams. But if he can produce good form with Newcastle in the Premiership then the chances are that he will be in the mix for selection.

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