Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pacific Challenge: Santiago García Botta replaces Roberto Tejerizo

Photo France Rugby
A change to the Pampas XV touring squad for Oceania sees former Stade Français prop Santiago García Botta replacing Roberto Tejerizo. García Botta will join the Argentine team in competing in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge 2015 to be played in Fiji. Tucumán's Tejerizo has been forced out of participating after suffering a sprained knee this past Saturday while playing in a warm-up match. The Argentine side is to fly out from Buenos Aires tomorrow. Before arriving in Fiji the Pampas XV will play warm-up matches against Super Rugby teams the Waratahs and Blues in Sydney and Auckland. 

With two test caps to his name the 22 year old Santiago García Botta is a player well known to the Pampas and Pumas coaching staff. He has represented Argentina at the junior level and this saw him debuting in the 2013 South American Championship where he faced Brazil, Uruguay and Chile, starting at loosehead prop against Los Condores.

In the national ranks he is behind the Pumas trio of Marcos Ayerza, Lucas Noguera Paz and Bruno Postiglioni but with Roberto Tejerizo pulling out he now has an opportunity to push for further international selection. In 2014 García Botta was not utilized by Los Pumas but he did play for Los Jaguares in the Tbilisi Cup where eh faced Georgia, Spain and Emerging Italy.

García Botta's opportunity with the Pampas XV is to see him featuring in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge 2015. He joins after a stint in France playing for Stade Français as a medical joker. World Rugby's intercontinental competition is to begin on March 10 with the Pampas XV facing the home side, Fiji A in the opening round. The remaining members of the Pampas XV squad can be seen here.

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