Pumas Confirm World Cup Squad

Pumas Confirm World Cup Squad

Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma has named his 31-man squad for next month’s World Cup. Flanker Juan Manuel Leguizamon has been included and the 36-year-old will, therefore, become just the fourth Argentine to feature at four World Cups, following in the footsteps of Felipe Contepomi, Agustin Pichot and current Pumas boss Ledesma.

Experienced fly-half Nicolas Sanchez, who is Argentina’s leading points scorer of all time, has also been included as one of three overseas-based players. The Stade Francais star has been named alongside Castres fly-half Benjamin Urdapilleta and props Juan Figallo, who plays for European champions Saracens.

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Ledesma has always stated that priority would be given to players plying their trade in Argentina, but he has no qualms about including the European-based trio given their quality. “We always said that we would take the best and that players based overseas would add value,” Ledesma said in a statement.

“The squad (includes) players that added value both on and off the field. “From day one, we said wed give priority to the players based in Argentina. That was our selection criteria and it was very clear for everybody.”

The majority of the squad is made up of players from Super Rugby finalists Jaguares, including full-back Joaquin Tuculet, who has recently returned to the international fold after an 18-month injury absence. Flanker Pablo Matera will captain the side in Japan after succeeding Agustin Creevy as skipper earlier this year, with Argentina set to face England, France, United States and Tonga in Pool C at the finals.

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