Thursday, July 24, 2014

Los Pumas: Players confirmed for first Warm-up v Grenoble

Photo UAR
Los Pumas headcoach Daniel Hourcade has confirmed a list of twenty-nine players for the first of two Rugby Championship warm-up fixtures to be played in Argentina against French Top 14 club Grenoble. As the match is not an international Hourcade is able to select more than the regular number of twenty-three players. Los Pumas will face Grenoble on Friday at the Club Atlético San Isidro (CASI) in Greater Buenos Aires. Kick-off is scheduled for 8pm. The teams will meet in Catamarca for the second friendly match the following weekend. 


Hourcade is yet to confirm who will be starting in the fixture. An announcement will not be made until the day of the match itself. Most if not all of the twenty-nine players are expected to receive game time as, indeed, was the case against New South Wales in 2013 and Stade Français in 2012. 

Ruled out is Juan Martín Hernández who suffered an eye injury. El Mago had been expected to start at inside center in a new look halves combination with Nicolás Sánchez. Hourcade will now have to wait a week before fielding the pairing together. In place of Hernández Santiago González Iglesias is expected to start in the position though there are other possibilities with Marcelo Bosch possibly moving from outside centre and one of Jerónimo de La Fuente, Matías Moroni or Horacio Agulla starting at 13.

Other than Hernández absent players from the training squad include Marcos Ayerza, Santiago Iglesias Valdez, Ramiro Moyano, Patricio Fernández, Javier Rojas, Matías Orlando, Julián Montoya, Tomás de La Vega and Benjamín Macome. Of them de La Vega and Macome are missing due to injury while the remainder have been left out based on selection. 

Ayerza therefore joins Manuel Carizza are a surprizing non-selection for the match. Set to start ahead of Ayerza against Grenoble is Lucas Noguera Paz. Ayerza could very well return for the Catamarca fixture and should indeed start against South Africa at loosehead prop. Carizza will not play in the opening rounds of the Rugby Championship with Hourcade having four players in his position included in the twenty-nine man squad. 

The young Guido Petti Pagadizaabal appears to be the back-up option for Hourcade who looks set to start Mariano Galarza and Tomás Lavanini with Matías Alemanno covering from the bench. As such the long awaited recall of Patricio Albacete is set to continue. Petti had not been important in the June tests as he was, in fact, playing in the IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand. 

Also short-listed to face Grenoble is outside centre Matías Moroni. Like Petti he played little part in Hourcade's test squads from earlier matches this year. Moroni missed out based on injury but impressed this past weekend for CUBA in the URBA Top 14. His selection sees Newcastle centres Gonzalo Tiesi and Juan Pablo Socino excluded. 

Speculation is mounting in Argentina that Santiago Fernández will return to the squad. With Hernández set to move to inside centre the position lacks depth found elsewhere in the squad. Hourcade's plans for inside centre against Grenoble will go a long way to revealing the future involvement, or not, of Fernández in 2014.

Player
Position
Club
Union
Matías Cortese
Hooker
Licio RC
Cuyo
Agustín Creevy
Hooker
Worcester
England
Ramiro Herrera
Prop
Castres
France
Lucas Noguera Paz
Prop
Lince
Tucumán
Bruno Postiglioni
Prop
La Plata
Buenos Aires
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Prop
La Plata
Buenos Aires
Matías Alemanno
Second-row
La Tablada
Córdoba
Mariano Galarza
Second-row
Gloucester
England
Tomás Lavanini
Second-row
Racing Métro
France
Guido Petti Pagadizabal
Second-row
SIC
Buenos Aires
Rodrígo Báez
Back-row
Licio RC
Cuyo
Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe
Back-row
Toulon
France
Juan Manuel Leguizamón
Back-row
Lyon
France
Pablo Matera
Back-row
Leicester
England
Leonardo Senatore
Back-row
Worcester
England
Javier Ortega Desio
Back-row
Estudiantes
Entrerriana
Tomás Cubelli
Scrum-half
Belgrano
Buenos Aires
Martín Landajo
Scrumhalf
CASI
Buenos Aires
Santiago González Iglesias
Fly half
Alumni
Buenos Aires
Juan Martín Hernández
Fly half
Racing Métro
France
Nicolás Sánchez
Fly half
Unattached
Marcelo Bosch
Centre
Saracens
England
Jerónimo De La Fuente
Centre
Duendes
Rosario
Matías Moroni
Centre
CUBA
Buenos Aires
Horacio Agulla
Wing
Bath
England
Juan Imhoff
Wing
Racing Métro
France
Manuel Montero
Wing
Pucurá
Buenos Aires
Santiago Cordero
Fullback
Regatas
Buenos Aires
Lucas González Amorosino
Fullback
Unattached
Joaquín Tuculet
Fullback
Unattached

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