Tuesday, December 16, 2014

International Rugby: Argentina Test Matches in 2015

Créditos: Rodrigo Vergara - UAR
With 2015 being a Rugby World Cup year all competing unions are extremely busy in preparing adequate fixture lists for their teams to best prepare for the tournament. The year is to be different to that of 2012-2014 for all competitors due to there being no June or November international windows. The post European club season is therefore to be a stand-down period for players based in the continent and, in the case of Los Pumas, players will be returning home to rest ahead of a demanding program which will see Argentina better prepared than for previous World Cups. The South Americans will enter the World Cup after undergoing a solid preparation program and will also play post Rugby World Cup matches in Europe.

Without June internationals Argentina's first test match of the year against a Tier One opponent will not take place until the Rugby Championship. Los Pumas will, nonetheless, be very well prepared and those based at home will have already played international rugby test matches against teams from South and North America.

Argentina's only home Rugby Championship fixture will be against Australia and will, as in 2014, take place in Mendoza. Other Argentine cities will nonetheless have the opportunity of playing host to Los Pumas as the French Barbarians are to play a two match series in Buenos Aires and Rosario.

Despite only playing once at home Argentina will play twice one the road with matches in Christchurch and Durban. Argentina will, nonetheless, have a home test against South Africa outside of the Rugby Championship. The match will take place in Buenos Aires on August 15.

The international season will begin early with players involved in the Pampas XV being a part of the Los Jaguares team which is to play against Uruguay with a match against Chile also possibly eventuating. These fixtures have been penciled in for April ahead of the incoming three match tour in which the USA will play two tests in Argentina and one in Uruguay in Late April and early May.

A week after hosting the second test against the USA Argentina will face Chile in the CONSUR Cup on May 09 and then take-on Uruguay on May 16. Due to the dates of these fixtures Argentina will not have access to foreign based players and nor will its opponents, including the USA.

Both the Guinness Pro 12 and Aviva Premiership Finals will be played on the weekend of May 30 while the Top 14 Final will be played two weeks later on June 13. The dates have contributed to Argentina's international program with the French Barbarians touring South America and, like the USA, playing twice in Argentina and once in Uruguay.

The tour dates are three and four weeks before the start of the Rugby Championship which implies that should players involved in European club semi finals or finals they will only feature in the first match against the touring French Barbarians. The same occurred in 2011 with the players then having rest time ahead of high performance training in Pensacola, USA.

The 2015 Rugby Championship will end on August 08, six weeks before the start of the Rugby World Cup. Argentina's opening match will be against New Zealand in London on the third day of the event on Sunday September 20. Los Pumas will, however, already have been in England since the beginning of the month to play against Aviva Premiership side the Leicester Tigers.

The fixture in Leicester is to be a repeat of 2007, a match in which Marcelo Loffreda played Juan Martín Hernández at fly half from the bench. Unlike 2007 and other years, however, Argentina will play two matches in Europe after the World Cup. Los Pumas will play against a Basque selection in Bilbao on November 14 and then face the Barbarians in London on November 21 to bring to a close the year. 

April 28 2015
Argentina v USA
May 02 2015
Argentina v USA
May 09 2015
Chile v Argentina
May 16 2015
Uruguay v Argentina
June 20 2015
Argentina v French Barbarians
June 26 2015
Argentina v French Barbarians
Buenos Aires
July 18 2015
New Zealand v Argentina
July 25 2015
Argentina v Australia
August 08 2015
South Africa v Argentina
August 15 2015
Argentina v South Africa
Buenos Aires
August 2015
Argentina v Uruguay
September 05 2015
Leicester Tigers v Argentina
November 14 2015
Basque Coast v Argentina
November 21 2015
Barbarians v Argentina

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