Wednesday, July 30, 2014

International Rugby: Argentine Player with an American Eagles Dream

Photo Rugby Fun
USA under 23 utility back Lucas Baistrocchi is a player with a bright future. Born and raised in Buenos Aires the twenty-three year old has gone on to represent his adopted country, the USA and is a possibility to go on to national honor at senior level this year. The junior Eagle has ambitions to do so and has said he is confident that he could. He grew up playing rugby for Belgrano Athletic, the same club that produced Tomás Cubelli and Marcelo Bosch. Aged fourteen Baistrocchi moved to Florida as a 14 year old with his family and subsequently attended high school and graduated with a college degree in Sports Management.  

After having completed his college studies at the University of Florida Baistrocchi went on to play for Boston RFC where he was spotted and called up to play for USA South in the 2014 NACRA Senior Mens competition. He also featured for the under 23 side in a friendly match against Cambridge and did so by playing fullback.

His selection at fullback was noteworthy due to his natural position being fly half. He has also, nonetheless, played in the centres. Baistrocchi believes that his ability to play in multiple positions comes from him being from Argentina. In his opinion Argentina is one of the leading countries at producing fly halves and fullbacks due to the style of play the country is famous for.

Argentina's regular conversion of fly halves into centres or fullbacks indeed follows Baistrocchi's logic. Recent cases in point being Marcelo Bosch, Felipe Contepomi, Santiago Fernández and Juan Martín Hernández.  The USA has also tended to utilize players outside of their natural position but through need rather than a perceived view that the player would do better in that position and benefit the team. 

The recent home internationals against Scotland, Japan and Canada saw the USA fielding a player previously considered a scrumhalf at pivot. Shalom Suniula started all three tests with a centre, Folau, Niua being used as cover. Earlier in the year Toby L'Estrange started against Uruguay. Further options will be needed to be identified and explored ahead of the World Cup.

With this in mind a place could open up for Baistrocchi in the 2014 Americas Rugby Championship and should it indeed transpire then his eligibility would be taken by the USA due to the Selects XV being the USA's official A side. Opportunities could also present themselves for the USA's November series against New Zealand, Romania, Tonga and Fiji.

No comments:

Post a Comment