|Photo Sporting Life|
Aviva Premiership club the Newcastle Falcons have announced the arrival of Argentine tighthead prop Juan Pablo Orlandi. The signing sees the Mendoza front-rower transfering from Bath whom he joined after previously playing in France for five seasons for Racing Métro. Prior to playing for Racing Métro Orlandi also played in Italy for Rovigo and was approached to play for Italy at international level but, instead, accepted international selection for the country he was born and raised in, Argentina. In moving to Northern England he will link up with two other Argentine players and could possibly form a prop partnership with a North American.
Capped fifteen times by Argentina Juan Pablo Orlandi remains a possibility for this year's Rugby World Cup. He has, however, not played for his country for over twelve months. Upon replacing Santiago Phelan Daniel Hourcade did not select Orlandi despite him having started against the Wallabies in the final round Rugby Championship fixture of 2013.
Orlandi had started in place of the injured Juan Figallo but Hourcade opted for Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro and the previously uncapped Ramiro Herrera as his specialist tighthead props in 2014. Both props are playing in the Top 14 and getting regular game time. Orlandi's move to Newcastle from Bath could offer him a greater opportunity at pushing for a return to the squad ahead of the World Cup.
Newcastle is placed near the bottom of the Aviva Premiership but is safe from relegation due to the lack of competitiveness demonstrated by London Welsh. Orlandi will join USA prop Eric Fry at the club and the players could potentially be starting matches together. Also at Newcastle are Argentine mid-fielders Gonzalo Tiesi and the uncapped Juan Pablo Socino.