Argentina AI Training Squad

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by An Tarbh, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    Argentina have named a training squad for the upcoming Autumn Internationals. They'll train in Paris ahead of the matches. I'm surprised to see Dr Phil included though, he hasn't even played for Toulon yet, I know it's only a training squad but surely he won't be involved in November.

    Forwards: Rodrigo Roncero, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Martin Scelzo, Pablo Henn, Mario Ledesma, Alberto Vernet Basualdo, Alvaro Tejeda, Esteban Lozada, Patricio Albacete, Manuel Carizza, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Alejandro Abadie, Alejandro Campos, Tomas Leonardi

    Backs: Nicolas Vergallo, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Felipe Contepomi (captain), Ignacio Mieres, Matias Viazzo, Federico Martin Aramburu, Horacio Agulla, Lucas Borges, Marcelo Bosch, Martin Rodriguez.
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  3. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    I highly doubt Felipe will play any games at all. According to his personal blog, he's been training in endurance and general kicking, but he hasn't gotten to practice exercises involving physical contact yet. Even if he was given the okay by Phelan, he just doesn't have game time to take the field. Fortunately, this is no longer something we would knock our heads on the wall for. Juan Martín Hernández is obviously going to play all games -- and he'll have rested enough by then given the Sharks were eliminated from the Currie Cup by the Blue Bulls.

    Then we have to include England-based players, such as loosehead/tighthead prop Marcos Ayerza (Leicester), scrum-half Alfredo Lalanne (L. Irish) and Gonzalo Tiesi (Quins). I am expecting to see some players based on Argentina taking the field as well -- the first-choice Puma blindside flanker Genaro Fessia (Córdoba Athletic), centre / fly-half Santiago Fernández (Hindú), and flanker Alejandro Campos (Montauban). The URBA TOP 14 semi-finals are underway, so I don't know whether more players will be included, although I would love to see Agustín Figuerola there as well.

    Juan Manuel Leguizamon is injured and will not play. This is a huge blow for Phelan -- Legui's work rate and physicality will be sorely missed. The replacement coming down the pipeline seems to be Alejandro Campos, which means that F. Lobbe will continue playing as eightman. If the scheme gets modified though, we might see Lobbe playing openside flanker and Leonardo Senatore (Jaguars) covering #8.

    The backline, which used to prompt the of most intense debate among Argentina's coaching staff years ago, seems to have been sorted out. The only problem will be Camacho's injury, notwithstanding. Federico Martín Aramburu will take his place. The AI will give Benjamin Urdapilleta and Matías Viazzo the chance to shine with the sky blue and white jersey.

    The line-up would look like this:

    1) Rodrigo Roncero (Stade Français Paris)
    2) Mario Ledesma (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
    3) Marcos Ayerza (Leicester Tigers) / Martín Scelzo (ASM Clermont Auvergne) (!!)
    4) Manuel Carizza (Biarritz Olympique)
    5) Patricio Albacete (Stade Toulousain)
    6) Genaro Fessia (Córdoba Athletic)
    7) Alejandro Campos (US Montauban)
    8) Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (RC Toulonnais)
    9) Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish)
    10) Juan Martín Hernández (Natal Sharks)
    11) Horacio Agulla (CA Brive)
    12) Santiago Fernández (Hindú Club)
    13) Gonzalo Tiesi (Harlequin F.C.)
    14) Federico Martín Aramburu (USAP Perpignan)
    15) Marcelo Bosch (Biarritz Olympique)

    16) Alberto Vernet Basualdo (Stade Toulousain)
    17) Juan Pablo Orlandi (Racing Métro 92 Paris)
    18) Estéban Lozada (RC Toulonnais)
    19) Alejandro Abadie (Rugby Rovigo)
    20) Nicolás Vergallo (Union Sportive Daquoise)
    21) Felipe Contepomi (RC Toulonnais) (?!)
    22) Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga (Club Atlético del Rosario) / Matías Viazzo (CS Bourgoin-Jallieu)
  4. Melhor Time

    Melhor Time Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Juan VdS @ Oct 20 2009, 12:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Aramburu plays for Dax not Perpignan, meaning he is in the French second division. I honestly doubt he will be picked at all. He had his chance last year and in June vs England at Manchester and never did well. Santiago Phelan dropped him for Leonelli who got injured after 7 minutes of the Salta test and was replaced by Lucas Gonzalez Amorisino. Amorisino has played the past 2 games for Leicester on the wing and scored a try in each game. Phelan has his eyes on him. Borges (Albi) should be picked before Aramburu too. In any event, Camacho should play shouldn´t he?

    Phelan has said he is delaying selecting his team / squad because he needs more game time from more players. he is anoyed that Lalanne is not playing much for London Irish. Same for Carizza (Biarritz), Figurola (CASI), Scelzo (Clermont), Basualdo (Toulouse), Figallo (Montpellier) and, of course, Contepomi (Toulon) and Leguizamon (SF Paris). He does not want to pick any player who has not had sufficient game time or is not playing at the top level, i.e. French pro d2.. Scelzo returned last week vs Ospreys and has this weekend to show why he should be picked. 4 props will be chosen. Scelzo should be picked on the bench with Figallo, Henn or Orlandi as the fourth prop.

    Here is a recent interview with Arg coach, Phelan:

    Dax, are not doing well in the second division which means Aramburu and Vergallo are not likely to be picked. Both will likely be third choice selections.

    I think the team to play England is going to be as follows:

    1 Rodrigo Roncero (SF Paris, France)
    2 Mario Ledesma (ASM Clermont, France)
    3 Marcos Ayerza (Leicester, England)
    4 Manuel Carizza (Biarritz, France)
    5 Patricio Albacete (Toulouse, France)
    6 Genaro Fessia (Córdoba, Argentina)
    7 Alejandro Campos (Montauban, France)
    8 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (Toulon, France) Captain

    9 Agustin Figuerola (CASI, Argentina)
    10 Juan Martín Hernández (Natal Sharks, South Africa)
    11 Gonzalo Camacho (Harlequins, England)
    12 Santiago Fernández (Hindú, Argentina)
    13 Gonzalo Tiesi (Harlequins, England)
    14 Horacio Agulla (Brive, France)
    15 Marcelo Bosch (Biarritz, France)

    16 Alberto Vernet Basualdo (Toulouse)
    17 Martin Scelzo (ASM Clermont, France)
    18 Estéban Lozada (Toulon, France)
    19 Tomas Leonardi (SIC, Argentina)
    20 Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish, England)
    21 Matias Viazzo (Bourgoin, France)
    22 Lucas Gonzalez Amorisino (Leicester, England)

    A good bench with adequate cover in all positions. I doubt Abadie will make the 22. Contepomi is a possibility vs Wales or Scotland but not vs England. Leguizamon is a possibility but I doubt he will play. Fellow backrower, Alvaro Galindo is out without question.

    Apparantly, Fiji and Argentina were close to securing a game in Qatar of all places.

    Lastly, it is fantastic, for Argentina, that the Sharks are not in the CC final. Finally, Argentina can go into a test window with their biggest asset fully fit and rested. Watch out for el Mago! He is on form and could really get the young, speedy Pumas backs into some spaces.
  5. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    Yeah, I read the "Yellow Alert" interview. My bad, I need to quit drinking early in the morning (Aramburu <- Perpignan? :huh:).

    Seriously though: Last night in ESPN Manuel Contepomi said that Phelan had been talking with Aramburu about the AI. I was shocked to think Tati might pick him over Borges, who's done well before. :mellow:

    Amorosino is one hell of a player. He played very well against the French Barbarians and is performing in the same level for Leicester.

    I'm really hoping Scelzo will be back in Los Pumas sometime soon. I heard he's bulked up a little bit? Last time I checked he weighed 126 kilos.

    Watch out for Hernandez. Phelan has been paying attention to his performances in the Currie Cup. His running game has vastly improved, and together with Fernández and Tiesi they make a potentially tremendous backline.

    Melhor, what do you make of Felipe? When he is back on form, should he be picked ahead of Fernández? I don't think so.
  6. Melhor Time

    Melhor Time Guest

    Argentina´s backrow is in chaos now.

    First choice 6 Genaro Fessia, is out for 6 weeks!

    So Argentina are without Juan Leguizamon, Genaro Fessia and Alvaro Galindo. All were certainties!

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Juan VdS @ Oct 20 2009, 02:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    - I think Aramburu is favoured over Borges as he can play wing or centre. Borges is strictly a wing and Argentina have depth there now. Tiesi owns the 13 shirt and Phelan merely wants to analyze who is best to cover him out of Aramburu and Viazzo.

    - Lucas Gonzalez Amorisino is one hell of a talented player. He can play 10, 15 or wing. He is very, very young. In a few years he will be flyhalf for a leading club in Europe or in the Super 14. For now he is an unknown who is playing wing for Leicester. It is only a matter of time before Scott Hamilton loses 15 to Amorisino. Geordan Murphy should be very worried. He should start agaisnt Scotland in November, possibly Wales too. I would play him off the bench personally.

    - Scelzo is back! I watched Ospreys vs Clermont finally last night and my God did he dominate Welsh international Duncan Jones. He took him to school at the scrums. He worked well as a lifter and got around the park as per normal. I think he will be on the bench vs England but will start vs Wales as Argentina will target the Welsh scrum and likely destroy it.

    - I totally agree with your point of Hernandez - Fernandez - Tiesi. World class 10-12-13 combination. Tiesi was outstanding vs Toulouse. His semi break was what forced Toulouse back and gave Monye the opportunity to capitalize with his pace to score the first try.

    - When Felipe Contepomi is match fit he will be Argentina´s 12 and captain and rightfully so. In the semi final when he got injured (Heineken Cup for Leinster) he was playing outstandingly well. Absolutely dominating Ronan O´Gara. This season Leinster have missed him a lot. Santiago Fernandez is a great talent and has a future but Contepomi is the man for World Cup 2011 and after a game or two he will return for Argentina. I doubt he will play against England, it is too soon. Rather, Contepomi will return like Dan Carter did. He will play a game or two for Toulon and then play for Argentina. Maybe he will play vs Wales but more likely vs Scotland. There is a strong chance he will miss all three matches though. Phelan won´t play him if he is not ready.
  7. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    Good lord. Not Fessia! Bad luck for Phelan. Genaro played very well in the last international window.

    I haven't watched Scelzo back on the move yet, but I will soon. I am SO happy that he's back on form!

    If I have free time tomorrow, I'll get to hang out with Manuel Contepomi at the club. Can't wait to hear some news about Felipe's recovery.
  8. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    The setbacks continue to happen. As if the seemingly unending list of injured players wasn't long enough, we now have to add Mario Ledesma, our first-choice hooker. He *might* miss the AI as well. We have Alberto Vernet Basualdo to take his place though. I would assume Agustin Creevy will become our back-up hooker.

    This is downright painful for Argentina -- Ledesma, along with Roncero, Albacete, Leguizamon and Hernandez are the base on which the whole team is built.
  9. Melhor Time

    Melhor Time Guest

    Marcelo Bosch is injured and it looks very serious.

    He has what looks to be a destroyed knee. It happened in the match which just finished (Toulouse vs Biarritz). At least Carizza started in the second row to give him game time vs a serious opponent.

    Gonzalo Tiesi is not playingfor Halequins vs Worcester because of a minor injury suffered vs Toulouse last week.

    So, of Argentina's ideal XV half are injured, in serious doubt, or returning from long injury breaks. i.e.

    15 Bosch
    14 Agulla
    13 Tiesi
    12 Contepomi
    11 Camacho
    10 Hernandez
    9 Figuerola - recently returned.

    8 Fernandez Lobbe
    7 Leguizamon
    6 Fessia, Galindo
    5 Albacete
    4 Carizza
    3 Ayerza
    2 Ledesma
    1 Roncero

    16 Basualdo - recently returned
    17 Scelzo - recently returned
    18 Lozada
    19 Campos
    20 Lalanne
    21 Viazzo
    22 Amorisino

    In bold means the player is injured.
  10. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    Surprise! Phelan has picked up Miguel de Achaval (Alumni) to partake in the Autumn Internationals, replacing Genaro Fessia. The decision was made all of a sudden, and is self-explanatory based on this guy's form. Alumni lost to CASI in the URBA TOP 14 Semifinals -- had the scenario unfolded the other way around, Agustín Figuerola (scrum-half) would've been the one flying out to Paris. The only curiosity about all this is that de Achával not part of the PlaDAR, the High Performance Plan.

    Taking into account the inclusion of Tomás Leonardi, the rampaging eightman from SIC and the Jaguars, I'd assume Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe is going to switch back to openside flanker.

    Marcelo Bosch is definitely out, and so is winger Gonzalo Camacho. Nothing regarding Ledesma's injury has been published and / or commented yet.

    <div align='center'>So, the forward pack would look like this:</div>
    <div align='center'>1. Roncero 2. Ledesma 3. Ayerza
    6. de Achával 4. Carizza 5. Albacete 7. Fernández Lobbe
    8. Leonardi
  11. Stillknox

    Stillknox Guest

    Do you know anything about Ignacio Mieres over here ? That guy travelled to Leicester, Paris, Perpignan et and never played more than 2 games in 3 years, 0 with Stade. I'm not even sure he really exist, and now he's international.

    Apparently he will play his first game with Paris this week end against Clermont...

    By the way, that's very sad for Bosch. I hope the injuries will let him alone next year, he's a very talented player, able to play everywhere...
  12. Melhor Time

    Melhor Time Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Stillknox @ Oct 28 2009, 08:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    I saw Mieres play for the Jaguars in the Churchill Cup in the USA. Aside from this I have never seen him play. He was recruited by SF Paris as back up to Hernandez and Beauxis but, apparently, because of the ridiculous rules, which say Argentina is foreign but South Africa among others aren´t, in European rugby he was never able to make the XV. So when an Carter got injured last January Perpignan hired him as a ´joker´ as you guys say in French and he played 2 or 3 games before Hume was moved to 10.

    As you know he went back to SF Paris for the current Top 14 season. Now SF Paris need to play him at 10 because of the mismanagement that saw Herandnez leave and Beauxis´s injury. Plus the worst pro player in France, Brian Liebenburg, is out for the season. So it will need to be Mieres or, possibly, Boussis.

    In terms fo Mieres as a player. He is okay but just okay. He is not in the Argentina top 5 options for flyhalf. They would be: 1 Hernandez, 2 Contepomi, 3 Bosch, 4 Fernandez, 5 Urdapilleta.

    I am seriously ridiculously upset by Marcelo Bosch´s injury. Not for me as a fan but for him as a player. Its worse, much worse, than the stories of Johnny Wilkinson and Gavin Henson. He has played 2 tests only in 4 years. He was about to sresign for Biarritz on a new upgraded contract but then he injured his knee. This after missing all of last season thanks to a serious shoulder injury.
  13. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    Phelan has made public the list of players that will play the AI.

    1- ABADIE, Alejandro (Rovigo)
    2- AGULLA, Horacio (Brive)
    3- ALBACETE, Patricio (Stade Toulousian)
    4- AYERZA, Marcos Iván (Leicester Tigers)
    5- BORGES, Lucas (ALBI)
    6- CAMACHO, Gonzalo Oscar (Harlequins)
    7- CAMPOS, Alejandro (Montauban)
    8- CARIZZA, Manuel (Biarritz Olympique)
    9- COMUZZI, Mauro Adrián (Pucará)
    10- CREEVY, Agustín (San Luis)
    11- DE ACHAVAL, Miguel (Asociación Alumni)
    12- FERNANDEZ LOBBE, Juan Martín (Toulon)
    13- FERNANDEZ, Santiago (Hindú Club)
    14- FIGUEROLA, Agustín (C.A.S.I)
    15- GONZALEZ AMOROSINO, Lucas (Leicester Tigers)
    16- LALANNE, Alfredo (London Irish)
    17- LEDESMA AROCENA, Mario (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
    18- LEONARDI Tomás (S.I.C)
    19- LOZADA, Esteban (Toulon)
    20- MARTIN ARAMBURU, Federico (Dax)
    21- ORLANDI, Juan Pablo (Racing Metro)
    22- RODRIGUEZ, Martín (Atlético de Rosario)
    23- RONCERO, Rodrigo (Stade Francais)
    24- SAMBUCETTI, Mariano (Bristol Shoguns)
    25- SCELZO, Martín (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
    26- TIESI, Gonzalo Pedro (Harlequins)
    27- URDAPILLETA, Benjamín (C.U.B.A)
    28- VERGALLO, Nicolás (Dax)
    29- VERNET BASUALDO, Alberto (Toulouse)

    Looking good, despite the sensible losses of Leguizamon, Hernández, Contepomi, Bosch, Fessia, Galindo, Figallo and Pedro Ledesma.

    Good news? Mario Ledesma and Camacho seem recovered and will play; Agustín Figuerola is back on the move and playing VERY well; Scelzo is back as well and in great form; and Amorosino will have another chance to prove his class.
  14. Melhor Time

    Melhor Time Guest

    No Hernandez, no Contepomi and no Bosch. Instead Argentina have two Buenos Aires based flyhalves. I am wondering which player will play 10 and which 12. I think Urdapilleta should be 10 and Fernandez 12. It will be an all Argentina combination from 8-12! Remarkable.

    The loss of props is very high too, but Argentina will still dominate their opponents, esp Wales in the scrums. Scelzo utterly demolished blond hair bear Duncan Jones 2 weeks ago in the Heineken Cup. He is back for the first time since the World Cup semi final loss. Two of his three replacements are injured (Figallo and Pedro Ledesma) but his return will worry all the teams. He is likely to play from the bench.

    Former Biarritz backrower, Agustin Creevy, has completed his change to hooker now and has been picked as a hooker for the tour. He will prob ably be third choice but should feature in one match from the bench.

    I do not agree with the selection of Aramburu over Viazzo to cover Tiesi at 13. What fo the French fans think? Both centres play in France afterall..... I do not want Aramburu near the 13 shirt. To his credit he is a good option for #22 to cvoer wing and centre but I would not pick him. I would prefer Comuzzi, another Arg based player, or Camacho playing 13 rather than wing. Tati (the coaches nickname) has not gone for Miguel Avramovic which I am very pleased about. All respect to him, he tries hard but he is not a game breaker and has had sufficient chances to prove otherwise. Clearly, Fernandez and Urdapilleta are to get game time together to form a 10-12 combination.

    I think Amorisino may well play 15 with Agulla and Camacho playing on the wings. Agulla's defence could be key to stopping the big English wingers, notably Banahan. Plenty of pro wingers and fullbacks based in Italy have been overlooked as have seasoned players like Stortoni (Glasgow Warriors) and de Vedia (formerly London Irish). 2011 preperation is clearly welll underway.

    It will be the youngest ever Pumas team that I can recall at least. Zero, I repeat zero professional backs from the World Cup XV that played France. Agulla is the only one who was there and he was, at the time, playing for Hindu in Buenos Aires. The rest are all young,. but brilliant, players. Tiesi is a star for Harlequins. He won best 13 player of the season last season in the Guinness Premiership. The coach certainly has a big pair of balls. Sure, some choices are based on injury but he has not gone for Contepomi who should be avaliable and has not asked Hernandez to play, unlike the Sharks coaches and previous Pumas coaches. Same goes for Leguizamon. Instead of rushing him back and giving him a recovery regime he has let him recover natually and gone for other players. Another positive is that Alejandro Campos is getting plenty of game time in the Top 14 for Montauban.

    Argentina will definetly be weakend but the consequence will be great for the World Cup. Also, fantastic exposure for some of these young Pumas as Super 14 teams look set to sign them.

    My XV to play England would be:

    14 Agulla (Brive, Fra), 15 Amorisino (Leicester, Eng), 11 Camacho (Harlequins, Eng)
    13 Tiesi (Harlequins, Ing), 12 Urdapilleta (CUBA, Arg)
    10 S Fernandez (Hindu, Arg), Figuerola (CASI, Arg)

    7 Fernandez Lobbe (Toulon, Fra) Captain, 8 Leonardi (SIC, Arg), 6 Campos (Montauban, Fra)
    5 Albacete (Toulouse, Fra), 4 Carizza (Biarritz, Fra)
    3 Ayerza (Leicester, Eng), 2 Ledesma (Clermont, Fra), 1 Roncero (Stade Francais Paris, Fra)

    16 V Basualdo (Toulouse, Fra), 17 Scelzo (Clermont, Fra), 18 Lozada (Toulon, Fra), 19 Abadie, (Rovigo, Ita)
    20 Lalanne (London Irish, Eng), 21 Rodriguez (Rosario, Arg), 22 Comuzzi (Pucura, Arg)

    That is still a world class forward pack that should be too strong for all opponents. The backs are essentially successful graduates from the IRB Sevens program. Agulla a few years ago and Figuerola, Camacho, Amorisino and Urdapilleta more recently. Abadie was there too. While the backs are without the first choices for 10, 12 and 15 do not underestimate them.

    Vs Wales, regardless of results I would change a few players. Scelzo would start at 3 for me and so would Vernet Basualdo.
  15. Jethro

    Jethro Guest

    Bad news for Los Pumas with the BBC, ticker thingy, reporting a couple of key injuries. Sorry don't have a link and am waiting on additional news.
  16. SmokeyMonkey

    SmokeyMonkey Guest

    What's happened to Todeschini? Injured? Retired?
  17. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    "The Ninja" Todeschini retired from Los Pumas after the RWC in France, where he suffered an injury which had him get little game time. Good player, I really loved his tactical kicking.
  18. SmokeyMonkey

    SmokeyMonkey Guest

    He's still playing for Montpellier though isn't he? Do you think he should've been asked to cover the losses of Hernandez and Contepomi? Or are their replacements more than capable?
  19. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    Like many of the players that took the field for Los Pumas in the last RWC, he's still playing. I don't think he should get called though, for 2 reasons.

    1) He has already said he will never come back.
    2) He's ageing, and Phelan has already started the warm-up for 2011. We've got plenty of options at fly-half, despite these players have not been completely groomed yet. Fernandez looks like the man that will replace Hernandez in the future, and both Bosch and Amorosino are world class material.

    Phelan is seeing the AI in a perspective that will allow him to grasp the essence of the team needed for 2011. Hopefully the new Pumas will grab people's attention, especially now that Argentina is slowly making its way to partake in SH top-class competitions.
  20. SmokeyMonkey

    SmokeyMonkey Guest

    Also where's Stortoni? :huh:
  21. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    Good question... the thing is... that Phelan overlooked him. It'd have been nice to see him and Tomás de Vedia being included, but as I said, the coaching staff seem to be over the "selection" phase and are now on to shaping up the team by working on their chemistry.
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