Thursday, September 25, 2014

Top 14: Nicolás Sánchez signs for Toulon

Photo: Photox  
Puma Nicolás Sánchez returned home to Tucumán from Bordeaux-Begles shortly before the end of the 2013-2014 French club season. In doing so he was without a club for the 2014-2015 season but was free to play for Argentina in the CONSUR Cup, the June internationals against Ireland and Scotland in addition to the Rugby Championship. His form for Los Pumas has seen him signed as a medical joker by current French and European champions, Toulon whom he is to join on October 6 after the Rugby Championship. 

Capped twenty-five times by Argentina Nicolás Sánchez has become Argentina's leading fly half in the years since Rugby World Cup 2011. He was a late call up by former coach Santiago Phelan for the injured Juan Martín Hernández in 2011 but was not used as Phelan instead utilized Felipe Contepomi and Santiago Fernández as his fly halves. 

Sánchez earned his first test start in 2010 against Chile several days after making his debut from the bench against Uruguay. His next international appearance came from the bench against Romania in Invercargill in a World Cup pool match. The fixture would be his only appearance in the tournament and his next test would not be until the 2012 Rugby Championship. 

With Hernández injured Sánchez was handed the 10 jersey against South Africa in Mendoza, a major which Argentina very nearly won. Despite having competed to a 16-16 draw Sánchez would not start again in the tournament and only made one further appearance, v Australia in Rosario. 

After Rugby World Cup 2011 Sánchez had joined Bordeaux-Begles in the Top 14 which saw him better prepared for international duty than previously. Prior to the World Cup he had been a PladAR product, involved with the Pampas XV which, under Daniel Hourcade, won the 2011 Vodacom Cup in South Africa. 

Hourcade replaced Phelan in late 2013 and inherited a team which now featured Sánchez as the permanent 10. Starting in November 2012 Sánchez took over Hernández as the starting pivot. He impressed in Argentina's win over Wales in Cardiff and was retained thereafter. Club Bordeaux-Begles was unable to obtain his services to the desired extent which saw him ultimately leaving in time for Hourcade to prepare the 2014 season with Sánchez at home. 

Still aged just 25, Sánchez is now hot property with the UAR looking for him to be the starting fly half for the Argentine Super Rugby franchise set to enter the competition in 2016. With there being close to a full a season of European rugby between and now Sánchez is now to return to Europe to play for Toulon as a medical joker. The club is without the services of the injured Frédéric Michalak, whom Sánchez is to replace. 

No comments:

Post a Comment