Friday, January 30, 2015

Super Rugby: Martín Landajo is confirmed for Argentine Franchise

Photo: UAR
The ongoing negotiations between the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) and individual players pertaining to the their playing future as full-time professionals based at home has seen a breakthrough with the signature of scrumhalf Martín Landajo on a three year deal. Landajo has signed with the UAR until 2017 and will be free to play representative rugby for Argentine teams at international level as well as developmental in the form of Los Jaguares and the Argentine Super Rugby franchise set to debut in the 2016 competition. Other big name players are expected to follow. 

Capped forty times by Argentina Martín Landajo is firmly established as being one of the top two players in his position of scrumhalf. In 2014 he played a total of thirteen test matches for Los Pumas of which nine were in the starting lineup and he acted as co-captain with rival Tomás Cubelli prior to the Rugby Championship. 

Landajo is a player developed through the domestic High Performance program (PladAR) which was implemented to provide Argentina with the means of identifying and preparing young players to become Pumas of the future. The success of PladAR was underlined in 2014, particularly in November when a team predomenantly made up of PladAR players past and present defeated France in Paris.

Of the 23 players listed for the fixture 20 have come through the domestic development program and many were selected by Daniel Hourcade ahead of professional players based abroad. the decision of Landajo to sign with he UAR provides others with reason to do so. Indeed the Super Rugby squad is expected to grow with additional names being confirmed shortly.

With an eye to the possible Rugby World Cup Argentina 2023 the creation of a competent Super Rugby franchise will increase the strength of the argument that the South Ameican country is the leading contender to host rugby's global event. Former Captain Agustín Pichot has stated on numerous occassions that he wants his country to host in 2023.

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