Friday, January 30, 2015

Super Rugby: Pablo Matera will play Super Rugby for Argentine team

Photo UAR
The extensive work being done to put together a competitive team made up of Argentine players to play in the 2016 Super Rugby competition has seen the first three players signed to the union in quick time. Following the confirmation that Martín Landajo and Guido Petti Pagadizábal are to play Super Rugby first-choice Pumas back-rower Pablo Matera became the third player signed to play for Argentina's franchise. He signed a three year deal which will see him available to play Super Rugby and international duty at all times for Argentina.  

The UAR Secretary Fernando Rizzi (pictured above with Matera) completed the deal that will see Pablo Matera able to represent Argentina and play Super Rugby for his country's franchise which is to debut in the competition in 2016. The signing is particularly noteworthy due to him having been in high demand by reputable European clubs. 

Matera played the 2013-2014 season for the Leicester Tigers and was to return for the current season only for this to be changed due to Matera's severe shoulder injury suffered in round two of the Rugby Championship against South Africa in Salta. The injury picked up in August ended his year but he is well on the way to recovery and expected to feature for the Pampas XV in the coming months.

Still aged just 21 Matera is a decade younger than the two members of Argentina's first choice back-row - Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe and Juan Manuel Leguizamón. The trio started together in the opening two fixtures of the Rugby Championship, the second of which was Matera's 13th test cap. His debut came against Chile in 2013 as a 19 year old. 

Prior to playing for Los Pumas Matera was ell established in the development program. He played Rugby Sevens for Argentina in 2012 and played for Argentina at under 19 and under 20 levels which included him playing in the Junior World Championship and being a Semi Finalist. 

His performances for Argentina in the Rugby Championship to date have seen him winning the praise. His potential as a long-term prospect at international level was illustrated by his attacking and defensive attributed and by his ability to compete at the break down (as shown below) against elite opposition. Before he begins his Super Rugby career Matera will be eyeing up involvement a third Rugby Championship campaign and first Rugby World Cup.

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