Thursday, June 12, 2014

Los Pumas: Ignacio Corleto wants Ayerza and Albacete selected

Photo The Epoch Times
The ongoing saga which has now been refereed to by Argentine site Rugby Fun as 'Albacete Gate' has split opinions within Argentina. On the one hand there are some current and former Pumas who have backed up the comments made from the Toulouse second-rower while on the other hand some believe that Patricio Albacete has broken the code of rugby. Debates are certain to continue not only until Daniel Hourcade's final squad for the Rugby Championship is revealed but until Argentina takes to the field in Rugby World Cup 2015. The latest of Albacete's colleagues to speak out is former Stade Français and Los Pumas fullback Ignacio Corleto who in his words is ''embarrassed with what is taking place.'' 

Still aged just 35 Ignacio Corleto was a player who gave it all for his country and experienced the highs and lows in an international career that saw him play at three Rugby World Cups which could have been four. In failing to recover from injury the man who scored the opening try of Rugby World Cup 2007 was forced into an early retirement.

During his playing days he played together with Agustín Pichot both as professional in France and at test level for Los Pumas. Together they experienced success in winning the Top 14 and knocking-over elite rugby playing nations including England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. They both also played together with Patricio Albacete in two Rugby World Cups but their views over the Albacete Gate saga are not shared. 

Since retirement Pichot has been working hard to get Argentina into both an expanded Tri Nations (Rugby Championship) tournament and Super Rugby. Both goals have now been met and to ensure Argentina's stability as a professional rugby entity the UAR is to prevent European based players from playing test rugby for Argentina after Rugby World Cup 2015. 

Like Albacete, Pichot suffered as a player due to anarchy driving global rugby. With there being no global season those playing in Europe were, at times, unable to play for Los Pumas. Corleto's career was so influenced by this problem that he played a mere 27 tests over a career lasting almost a decade. Firstly at Narbonne and subsequently Stade Français Corleto proved to be a quality player but without a means of earning money by playing rugby in South America he, like Pichot and Albacete played in France.

Corleto spoke frankly in offering his opinion on the events unfolding in Argentina. He said ''look, I think it is these kinds of fights between the leadership and the players that need to be ended because, although I'm not directly involved, it seems to me that the best players have got to be playing for Los Pumas. I am angry that Pato (Albacete) and Toro (Ayerza) were not selected becaue without doubt they are the best players in their positions and globally it is also highlighted. I feel sorry for them and I am ashamed about everything that is going on because we always talk about values in rugby and then you realize that they fail in several ways. I know that Pato is a spotless, direct person and always moves forward. As such (we should), dig deep into this and learn the truth if we want a better future for Argentine rugby.''


  1. albacete is not the future of Argentine rugby but belongs to a past generation of fading superstars..Argentina are looking to the future and i dont see them sweating over his exclusion....Cant he see the exciting talent coming behind him?....Any player who will poison the squad is not welcome

  2. albacete does not poison anything other than rivals chances of gaining balls at breakdowns, lines, mauls, and scrums. the coach and him need to sit down and talk and resolve this issues like adults, thats all.