Los Pumitas ready for South Africa challenge

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 9 April 2014
 Los Pumitas ready for South Africa challenge
Patricio Fernández is among 13 players from JWC 2013 who will travel to South Africa - Photo: Prensa UAR

Argentina Under 20 coaches Rodolfo Ambrosio and Nicolás Fernández Lobbe have unveiled the 30 players who will travel to South Africa for their traditional three-match series ahead of the IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand.

Los Pumitas, who finished sixth at JWC 2013 in France, will play the Junior Springboks three times in eight days in Saldanha (2 May), Stellenbosch (6 May) and Cape Town (10 May) before returning home to fine tune preparations for New Zealand.

Almost half of the selected players were part of Argentina’s squad in last year’s tournament, including fly half Patricio Fernández – already capped by the Pumas – who was the top point scorer in France.

Fernández, Guido Petti Pagadizabal and Tomas Ramírez have already tasted success with an Argentine side this year, having been part of the Pampas XV team that stormed to the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup title in Australia last month.

“We have to take advantage of these games because we couldn’t train much together because of the different call-ups to other national teams that some players had,” explained Ambrosio.

“We know that there are still some things to prepare for June and I think these games will be useful to us to know where we are right now.”

Argentina will face Australia, Italy and defending champions England in Pool A at JWC 2014, which takes place from 2-20 June.