Monday, August 25, 2014

Rugby Championship: Pablo Matera ruled out and requiring surgery

Photo UAR
Argentine rugby has been rocked by the news that twenty-one year old back-rower Pablo Matera will play no further part in the Rugby Championship after he is required to undergo surgery on his left shoulder which was injured in the first half against South Africa on Saturday in Salta. The loss of Matera comes at a time when Argentina is set to announce the return of another back-rower from injury. It also occurs with Matera having performed well in both test matches against South Africa. Headcoach Daniel Hourcade will now likely change his back-row formation with Juan Manuel Leguizamón likely to wear the 6 shirt in place of Matera. 

Earlier today an MRI scan confirmed that Pablo Matera would be unable to play any further part in the Rugby Championship. It was confirmed that his attempted tackle on Ruan Pienaar, who kicked through for Bryan Habana to score, meant his tournament was over. Matera suffered a torn subscapularis and labrum which ends his international season.

Without Matera Daniel Hourcade is likely to utilize either Leonardo Senatore or Benjamín Macome in the starting back-row. Senatore came off the bench in place of the injured Matera in Salta which saw rotation as he played at the back of the scrum with Juan Manuel Leguizamón moving to the side. A repeat could occur in Napier or, alternatively, Hourcade could start Macome who was impressive against Ireland in Chaco in June.

Macome is set to be named in the squad to tour New Zealand and Australia which is to fly out from Buenos Aires on Friday. With Macome injured Rodrigo Báez had been training as the fifth choice back-rower and is likely to also be on the flight to Auckland. Other players under consideration include Tomás De la Vega and Javier Ortega Desio. Both featured in June. 

Matera joins winger Gonzalo Camacho and centre Gabriel Ascárate in addition to props Maximilano Bustos and Juan Figallo on the injured list. Of them Matera is the only player with any realistic chance of playing in the November internationals in which the South Americans will play tests in Europe against France, Italy and Scotland.  


  1. Yep... rocked indeed. Here's a thought... How about for once this team gets the rub of the green? They are seriously short of luck, or victories to reflect all the hard work they put in. Other teams like the Boks meanwhile scrape to undeserved wins and count themselves lucky...

    These are dark and painful times indeed for Argentine rugby... I hope the storm clouds go away some time soon, because they've been hanging over their game since November 2012 (when the Argies last beat a team of note...i.e. Wales).

  2. I assume my comment wasn't posted because I pointed out the dreadful attendance at the SA game and this goes directly against the policy of a website that advocates Argentina's suitability to host a world cup?


    1. Dear Peter,

      There was no comment of that nature received. If you wish to post it again please do so. There must have been an error.

      For the record despite clearly not being full it was not too bad considering the ticket prices are very high compared to GDP. AR$650 when GDP is close to AR$3000. There were 18,000 in a venue seating 20,500.

  3. Sorry tried to reply through a friend's account and the reply was lost. I basically made the point that the fans seemed to have voted with their feet given Argentina's habit of finding a way to lose when they are in a winning position. They are the world's best team at imploding and I agree with Chris that if they cannot salvage a victory this year, their rugby is in trouble. Ironically they have a great chance of making the RWC semis.