Only a couple of days after clinching a 2-1 series win over defending champions South Africa, Argentina Under 20 coaches Rodolfo Ambrosio and Bernardo Urdaneta have unveiled their squad for the IRB Junior World Championship 2013 in France.
Los Pumitas beat JWC 2012 champions South Africa 47-22 and 27-22 after an Argentina Under 20 XV lost the opening match of the Baby Boks’ tour 26-3 and will hope to build on this momentum as they bid to better their most successful Junior World Championship last year.
Argentina were the surprise package of the 2012 tournament in South Africa, beating Australia and France en route to a first ever semi final and ultimately finished fourth after loses to the hosts and Wales in the race for the prestigious title.
Seven members of that squad – Santiago Cordero, Matías Díaz, Felipe Ezcurra, Santiago Iglesias, Facundo Isa, Pablo Matera and Joaquín Paz – will return for their second shot at the IRB Junior World Championship title.
Another player to watch out for when Los Pumitas tackle Wales, Scotland and Samoa in Pool C at JWC 2013 will be Patricio Fernández, who enhanced his growing reputation with two impressive displays against the Baby Boks, scoring 44 points across the two victories.
A great opportunity
A number of the squad could travel to France already having played Test rugby with Díaz, Fernández, Matera, Iglesias, Paz, Schultz, Santiago Álvarez and Tomás Lavanini all named in the Pumas squad for the South American Championship, which begins in Montevideo on Saturday.
“The selection process is inevitable. It is always painful to communicate to someone that’s not going to be part of the team at the JWC, because the truth is that I would like to call everyone. Every player had worked hard for this," admitted head coach Rodolfo Ambrosio.
“There are seven players that have also played in the Junior World Championship last year, but that’s not the reason I have called them. They have regained the place. After this JWC the process will start again, and I will start watching the youngest players thinking of next year.
“We will have to be alert and focused, because if we make one mistake we are out. We are going to put the emphasis on getting to the Championship in a very good physical and mental condition, and I know the players will do their best.”
Manuel Galindo, President of the UAR High Performance department, added: "The JWC will be another great opportunity for our Under 20 team to face the best teams in the world, and based on the international competition, I am convinced the players will continue growing further. With the double victory in the recent matches against South Africa, they showed that they are ready for big things, and guided by their coaches, I am sure they can enjoy a great run in France."
Argentina Under 20 squad
Forwards: Matías Díaz, Facundo Gigena, Santiago Iglesias, Facundo Isa, Tomás Lavanini, Tomás Lezana, Pablo Matera, Jerónimo Mazzoni, Julián Montoya, Lucas Noguera Paz, Pedro Ortega, Guido Petti Pagadizaval, Tomás Ramírez, Vittorio Rosti, Vito Scaglione.
Backs: Juan Pablo Aguirre, Ignacio Albornoz, Santiago Álvarez, Juan Bernardini, Emiliano Boffelli, Santiago Cordero, Rodrigo Etchart, Felipe Ezcurra, Patricio Fernández, Alex Müller, Joaquín Paz, Germán Schultz, Andrés Speziali.
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