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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Felipe Contepomi knocked out vs Racing Metro

Argentina named their training squad for the Rugby Championship earlier this week, with Felipe Contepomi the notable exclusion, as he will be playing for Stade Francais. Here's a quick clip from a few months back that some of you had requested to see.

Captain and key player for so many years, Contepomi has ruled himself out of contention for the inaugral Rugby Championship due to commitments with club side Stade Francais in the Top 14.

Contepomi has been replaced by regular stand-in captain, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

"It's a great responsibility and a very nice opportunity, of which I am very proud to take," he said.

"It's a great honor and a sense of gratitude to all those who in one way or another, taught me the values snd attitudes that allowed me to get here."

The Pumas will join the All Blacks, Springboks, and Wallabies in the rebranded Tri Nations tournament, as Argentina get their chance to impress in the new Rugby Championship. Lobbe said that their inclusion is integral to their overall development as a rugby nation.

"We are really looking forward to this historical event in which we want the team to end on October 6, having been faithful to their convictions and having played to their full potential," he said.

"We know the magnitude of challenge before us, but we have to take all this to continue growing as a team. The truth is this is something spectacular that we have fought a very long time for. Today we can say that the Pumas have an annual competition, and it's amazing."

The short video below features a player that has given so much to the game, and has always been completely committed to the cause. Unfortunately on this occasion he got knocked out, but some of you wanted to see it again, so here it is.

How do you think Argentina will do in the first ever Rugby Championship?

Posted at 4:22 pm | 15 comments

Argentina snatch victory from France with late try

Felipe Contepomi's rough night against Worcester

Felipe Contepomi's winning drop goal isn't one

Lucas Amorosino late try sets up famous win for Argentina

Felipe Contepomi trysaver prevents Munster classic try

Contepomi and Fitzgerald combine for a great Leinster try

Felipe Contepomi Penalty blown back over!

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 15 comments

BondTr4der July 11, 2012 8:31 pm

Really looking forward to seeing the Pumas join the tri-nations, and I don't think they'll have to wait as long as Italy did before they get their first victory (over the aussies, probably).

Long overdue, IMO.

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Jon July 12, 2012 1:00 am

Why the Aussies?
The current champs? The ones that have beaten South Africa six times in a row in the last six matches?

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JD July 12, 2012 7:54 am

Italy won their first 6N match in their very first match of the championship

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BarryT July 11, 2012 8:57 pm

it is about time arg joined the tri nations, whats the structure of the games going to be like now? 2 games home and away against each country?

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KingKong July 11, 2012 9:48 pm

Yep, so teams still only play 6 games each.

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Juggernauter July 11, 2012 11:11 pm

Argentina will make slow yet steady progress in the Championship. In my opinion, this year the All Blacks will prove to be way too much of a challenge (some of you may mention the QF of the World Cup, but there's now way less pressure for the ABs and that's when they play their best rugby). The Saffers will attempt (in classic style) to subdue them with forward power and I think they will achieve that feat, albeit this games will be decided by the boot (by both sides). But I still think SA will have too much experience and class for the argies. Australia, on the other hand, will look to run and pass the ball a lot against the Pumas and I think this will make for great viewing, as Arentina are not shy to make a run ir two. Still I think Australia have too much firepower for Argentina to equal.

Argentina can rely on their great pack (especially the back row, remember the name of Tompas de la Vega), and on a few great names on the backs (Hernández, Agulla, Camacho). I think this year is too soon for them to get any victories, but they will be hard to beat on their own soil wuthout a doubt.

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Jon July 12, 2012 1:03 am

I think South Africa will be their best bet of getting a victory.
SA are the least convincing team recently in the tri-nations and their style of play mirrors Argentina.
It will simply be about who bashes the other team the best, and Argentina are capable of doing that at home.

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Herman July 14, 2012 6:04 pm

Recently is a year ago. In recent tournaments, SA has 3 teams in the Super15 quarter final and bashed England in their tour. AUS clearly is going to be the likeliest team to be beaten by Argentina. But besides, no southern hemisphere team will easily get into the tri-nation. Somoa would have a better chance than Argentina.

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Adam July 11, 2012 11:27 pm

Question for the rugby dump public, if Argentina do badly in the championship could they lose enough ranking points to slip to 9th in the world (they are 8th at the moment) I mention this because the seeding for the world cup is done at the end of the year. Maybe this is just wishful thinking but who knows...

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WelshOsprey July 12, 2012 12:24 pm

Is hernandez in the squad? Haven't seen him play for years and hes total class

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Contepomithebest July 12, 2012 5:06 pm

Hernandez IS in the squad. He appears after three long years of injuries, but now he is playing at a good level throw the last 6 months at Racing Metro 92 in Paris. Sure he will be the key player of us together with Agulla and Creevy.

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rugby08 July 13, 2012 7:04 pm

Hernandez hasn't been the same since his injury(ies). I think he's living off his reputation because of one good season in 2007.

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Ranny July 12, 2012 1:21 pm

I think they'll be beaten like ginger step-children for the first few seasons at least. After that I believe they will become a lot stronger and a bigger threat to the NH than they are now.

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Pretzel July 12, 2012 4:29 pm

As others have said, they'll definitely be the whipping boys for a few seasons (perhaps even longer than that... maybe they'll grab a victory or two maximum in the next 5 years).. But the great victory in the competition is somewhat a by-product with Argentina. The team playing will want to win it of course. The fans will want them to win it etc etc. But in the shadows the following will grow and grow and grow, it will help their team develop, it will pour more money into the development programs, and who knows where it could lead? Another Super rugby franchise set up in Argentina? A long way to travel I suppose, but anything is possible.

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Pete July 13, 2012 7:37 pm

I think most of the international media missed a huge point in Felipe's decision to not be in the team for the rugby championship.

He decided by himself not to play the tournament, stating that he has already played 4 world cups and he doesn't believe he is in a physical condition to play 6 games against the best teams in the world. Yes, he could play one or two games at 100%, but it would be unfair to another player who could replace him and play every game. He is a legend in world rugby, but that doesn't mean he has to play at the top level if he is not up to it physically. Also he believes its time to give some younger players the chance to play, thinking about setting up a team for the next world cup.

Also, he wanted to be in the june tests to lead a young and inexperienced team against Italy and France. He will be playing for the pumas on june and november tests until he retires from rugby.

He did say though, that if a player got injured during the championship (hope not), and the coach considers him the right choice, he will be up to it.

Here is the link to the interview (you can use google translate for it, its in spanish):

http://canchallena.lanacion.com.ar/1479899-felipe-contepomi-no-es-muy-largo-mi-futuro-en-los-pumas

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