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Team Guide: Argentina

Team Guide: Argentina

By Eurosport
Last update The 10/09/2011 at 17:10 -
By Eurosport - The 10/09/2011 at 17:10
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ARGENTINA

Colours: Blue and white hooped shirt, white shorts.

Nickname: Los Pumas.

World ranking: 9.

Coach: Santiago Phelan.

The former Pumas flanker had a thankless task when he took over from Marcelo Loffreda with Argentina ranked third in the world. How could he improve on that with the limited time he has with his players and with a lack of meaningful competition? The answer is he couldn’t and as a result the Pumas have fallen in the world rankings.

Squad:

BACKS Born Caps Tries Cons Pens DGs Pts

Horacio Agulla 22/10/84 29 4 0 0 0 20

Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino 2/11/85 10 2 0 0 0 10

Marcelo Bosch 7/1/84 5 0 0 2 0 6

Gonzalo Camacho 28/8/84 7 4 0 0 0 20

Felipe Contepomi 20/8/77 71 13 61 123 2 562

Santiago Fernandez 28/11/85 13 0 0 1 0 3

Agustin Gosio 17/3/83 0 0 0 0 0 0

Juan Imhoff 11/5/88 4 7 0 0 0 35

Alfredo Lalanne 3/3/83 7 0 0 0 0 0

Martin Rodriguez 12/4/85 10 2 1 9 1 42

Nicolas Sanchez 26/10/88 2 1 1 0 0 7

Gonzalo Tiesi 24/4/85 28 6 0 0 0 30

Nicolas Vergallo 20/8/83 19 0 0 0 0 0

FORWARDS

Patricio Albacete 9/2/81 41 1 0 0 0 5

Marcos Ayerza 12/1/83 32 1 0 0 0 5

Maximiliano Bustos 2/4/76 0 0 0 0 0 0

Julio Farias Cabello 19/9/78 3 0 0 0 0 0

Alejandro Campos 21/4/83 12 1 0 0 0 5

Manuel Carizza 23/8/84 19 1 0 0 0 5

Agustin Creevy 15/3/85 11 0 0 0 0 0

Juan Figallo 25/3/88 4 0 0 0 0 0

Mariano Galarza 11/12/86 6 0 0 0 0 0

Genaro Fessia 22/07/81     9  1 0 0 0 5

Mario Ledesma 17/5/73 79 3 0 0 0 15

Juan Manuel Leguizamon 6/6/83 34 6 0 0 0 30

Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe 19/11/81 40 4 0 0 0 20

Rodrigo Roncero 16/2/77 44 4 0 0 0 20

Martin Scelzo 5/2/76 54 10 0 0 0 50

Leonardo Senatore 13/5/84 2 1 0 0 0 5

Tomas Vallejos 16/10/84 0 0 0 0 0 0

Key player: Felipe Contepomi.

Fly-half, goalkicker and captain, there couldn’t be a greater burden on the Stade Francais star’s shoulders if Argentina are going to emerge from a tough group. It increases further now that talented utility player Juan Martin Hernandez has failed to recover from a knee injury in time.

2010-11 form:

13/11/10 v Italy (Verona) W 22-16

20/11/10 v France (Montpellier) L 9-15

28/11/10 v Ireland (Dublin) L 9-29

20/8/11 v Wales (Cardiff) L 13-28

World Cup pedigree:

Third: 2007.

Quarter-finals: 1999.

Group stage: 1987, 1991, 1995, 2003.

Record: P25, W12, D0, L13.

Most appearances: Agustin Pichot 14.

Most points: Gonzalo Quesada 135.

Most tries: Pablo Bouza, Ignacio Corleto, Martin Gaitan 4.

High:

The whole of the 2007 tournament. From the very first match, when they upset hosts France 17-12, they were a revelation, also beating Ireland in their group and then Scotland in the quarter-finals. Although the Pumas were predictably hammered by South Africa in the semi-finals, they bounced back to drub France in the third-place play-off.

Low:

Either the 1991 or 1995 tournaments, when they failed to win a match. The second World Cup in 1991 probably wins, though, as the Pumas scored only 38 points and conceded 83, losing 32-19 to Australia, 16-7 to Wales and 35-12 to Western Samoa.

Hero: Felipe Contepomi.

With 19 points from two tries, three conversions and a penalty, the Pumas fly-half was hugely responsible for their 34-10 rout of France in the 2007 third-place play-off in Paris – their biggest win over the French and the greatest achievement in Argentinean rugby.

Villain: Pedro Sporleder.

A disappointing 1991 World Cup for Argentina finished on a sour note when Sporleder, their 20-year-old lock, was sent off for fighting with Western Samoan second row Matt Keenan and the Pumas were thrashed 35-12. Fortunately, he learnt his lesson and went on to play in four World Cups.

2011 prospects:

Argentina will be hard pushed to reach the knockout stage this year. Their form has dipped alarmingly since their superb third place in 2007 and they will enter the tournament vastly under-prepared compared to their main group rivals, England and Scotland.

Group matches:

10/9/11 v England (Dunedin)

17/9/11 v Romania (Invercargill)

25/9/11 v Scotland (Wellington)

2/10/11 v Georgia (Palmerston North)

 
 

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