Monday, June 23, 2014

Rugby Championship: 30 man Pumas Squad named for Training in USA

Los Pumas vs. All Blacks
Foto Rodrigo Vergara UAR
Los Pumas headcoach Daniel Hourcade has named a thirty man squad to under go a high performance training regime in Pensacola, Florida. Notable is the selection of thirteen players yet to appear in a Rugby Championship match. In going for a high contingent of PladAR players el huevo has continued with the non-selection of players previously thought of as being first choice members of a full-strength Pumas lineup. Left out are Patricio Albacete, Marcos Ayerza, Santiago Fernández, Eusebio Guiñazú and Goznalo Tiesi. Despite Hourcade having said otherwise the international futures of these players is now severely in question. The players named are to travel to the USA on Wednesday June 25 and return on July 10 to get ready for the final stage of Rugby Championship preparation in which Argentina will play host to Top 14 club Grenoble. 


Prior to selecting his squad for the June internationals against Ireland and Scotland Hourcade made it clear that he was not interested in players who were free to play in June but not so for the Rugby Championship. He consequently opted against the selection of a number of players who had taken to the field under Santiago Phelan in June internationals in 2012, 2013 or both.

The approach was based on a philosophy of building a team and not getting side-tracked. Hourcade consequently had a team averaging 23 years of age taking to the field against Scotland last weekend. The disastrous late loss saw Argentina fall to 12th in the IRB World Rankings behind not only Scotland and Samoa but also Japan and Fiji. 

According to Hourcadism it was a price worth paying. While Argentina lost three tests it gained valuable experience with domestic based players set to be a part of the squad for the Rugby Championship now better prepared than in previous years. In total eighteen of the thirty players named are now based in Argentina, some having returned home from abroad but most have simply been selected ahead of players unwanted by Hourcade.

Gone are the famous five of Albacete, Ayerza, Fernández, Guiñazú and Tiesi, some of whom are players accused of being in the anti-Phelan camp which led to a change of coaches last October. But politics has not been the only motivating factor. Hourcade has also let go players with little chance of being at the top of their games at Rugby World Cup 2015 and beyond. 

Players said to have been let go due to age include Guiñazú, Juan Pablo Orlandi and Julio Farías Cabello. All were mainstays under Phelan but none were ever likely to be regulars in 2015. Hourcade has acted swiftly to invest in others as illustrated in his selections with the likes of Matías Cortese,  Ramiro Herrera and Javier Ortega Desio replacing these players.

All three were involved in Argentina's recent test matches are were Matías Díaz and Manuel Carizza who will not be present in Pensacola. They are instead going to be involved with their Super Rugby franchises and expected to both join up with the squad after it has returned from North America in July. 

Also missing are five players who had been strong candidates to make the match day 23 and even start tests. Gabriel Ascárate, Maximilano Bustos, Gonzalo Camacho, Juan Figallo and Benjamín Macome have all been forced out of the Rugby Championship through injury. With both Bustos and Figallo missing the non-selection of Ayerza is extremely questionable. It will, however, enable el Toro the opportunity to be in the best possible condition for 2015 due to him having been rested from June-September of this year. 

The desire to experiment has indeed seen the selection of highly promising plasyers including Santiago Cordero, Javier Ortega Desio, Lucas Noguera Paz and Manuel Montero. Missing, however, is Patricio Fernández whose place in the squad has been taken by Santiago González Iglesias. Also selected is back-rower Tomás De la Vega, a player severely underused by Phelan.   

Player
Club
Union
Position
Horacio Agulla
Bath
England
Wing
Matías Alemanno
La Tablada
Córdoba
Second-row
Rodrigo Báez
Licio RC
Cuyo
Back-row
Marcelo Bosch
Saracens
England
Centre
Santiago Cordero
Regatas
Buenos Aires
Fullback
Matías Cortese
Licio RC
Cuyo
Hooker
Agustín Creevy
Worcester Warriors
England
Hooker
Tomás Cubelli
Belgrano
Buenos Aires
Scrum-half
Jerónimo De la Fuente
Duendes
Rosario
Centre
Tomás De La Veja
CUBA
Buenos Aires
Back-row
Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe
Toulon
France
Back-row
Mariano Galarza
Gloucester
England
Second-row
Lucas González Amorosino
Unattached

Wing
Santiago González Iglesias
Asociación Alumni
Buenos Aires
Fly half
Juan Martín Hernández
Racing Métro
France
Fullback
Ramiro Herrera
Castres Olympique
France
Tighthead Prop
Juan Imhoff
Racing Métro
France
Wing
Martín Landajo
CASI
Buenos Aires
Scrum-half
Tomás Lavanini
Racing Métro
France
Second-row
Juan Manuel Leguizamón
Toulon
France
Back-row
Pablo Matera
Leicester Tigers
England
Back-row
Manuel Montero
Pucurá
Buenos Aires
Wing
Lucas Noguera Paz
Lince
Tucumán
Loosehead Prop
Matías Orlando
Huirapuca
Tucumán
Wing
Javier Ortega Desio
Estudiantes
Entrerriana
Back-row
Bruno Postiglioni
La Plata
Buenos Aires
Loosehead Prop
Nicolás Sánchez
Unattached

Fly half
Leonardo Senatore
Worcester Warriors
England
Back-row
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
La Plata
Buenos Aires
Tighthead Prop
Joaquín Tuculet
Unattached

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1 comment:

  1. Good afternoon Paul, or good night where you probably are.

    I wrote on your feed back section about the need for ARG to start building a squad full of domestic players, a while ago.

    While I don't completely agree with the non-use of Albacete and Ayerza, others had it coming to them either because of age, lack of form or in the case of Fernandez, just staying in Europe!

    It could be seen that these selections are then commendable, and that youth has been given the chance. But I'm scratching my head a little. Hourcade said that every player would be considered within the wider spectrum of rugby tornaments.

    Maybe I wasn't the only person who noticed, but Los Jaguars recently won the Tibilsi Cup. Not a stellar competition but they've never won an overseas summer tornament like this before.

    Certain players really put up their hand such the captain Ahualli, the prop Lobo and the player who in my mind is arguably the fastest man in Argentine rugby Ramiro Moyano.

    I'm actually surprised to see that "The egg", was as conservative as he was!

    Mark, the man in Japan.

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