Contepomi returns for Argentina
September 23, 2011
Felipe Contepomi returns to the Argentina starting line-up © Getty Images
Argentina have named their side for the crucial Pool B clash against Scotland with talisman Felipe Contepomi returning to the starting XV.
The playmaker missed Argentina's victory over Romania after suffering a rib injury in their opening match against England. Contepomi is handed the No.12 shirt with Santiago Fernández retaining the fly-half berth.
With Contepomi coming into the midfield Martin Rodriguez moves to fullback with Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino dropping to the bench. In the only other change to the starting XV that comfortably beat Romania last time out Julio Farias Cabello replaces Alejandro Campos in the back-row. Centre Nicolas Sanchez loses his place on the bench Amorosino for the decisive clash in Wellington.
Contepomi revealed that he is still suffering from the injury to his ribs but is confident he will be able to run out against Scotland.
"The idea is to play," he said. "Today I had full-on training - it was the day when I was going to try myself, full contact and everything. It was okay. It's not pain free, but I think it worked well. Hopefully I will be playing if nothing happens in the next 48 hours. Anything can happen in a game, but my idea is to try to play 80 minutes."
Contepomi has undergone rigorous treatment in order to be fit for a match the Pumas have to win to have any hope of progressing to the quarter-finals. The former Bristol and Leinster back, now at Stade Francais, added: "I'm taking pain killers, anti-inflammatories and ice after the training session.
"I had a procedure done by the doctor of the team - a small injection of dextrose, it's glucose, but it's nothing illegal. It's just time. We knew it was going to be very tight. Luckily I've rested enough and I was lucky that it healed quickly."
Contepomi is happy to be playing at inside centre. He added: "I have played probably more at 12 than at 10 for Argentina; the same at Toulon, at Leinster I played 12 many times. It's a position I very much like and that I feel very comfortable in. For this game it's the best option for the team."
Argentina head coach Santiago Phelan emphasised the importance of Contepomi, saying: "He's the captain. He's important not only as a player, but as the leader of the team. He's in good condition to play and it's very important for the Argentina team."
Argentina: Martín Rodríguez; Gonzalo Camacho, Marcelo Bosch, Felipe Contepomi (c), Horacio Agulla; Santiago Fernández, Nicolás Vergallo; Rodrigo Roncero, Mario Ledesma, Arocena, Juan Figallo, Manuel Carizza, Patricio Albacete, Julio Farias Cabello, Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe
Replacements: Agustín Creevy, Martín Scelzo, Mariano Galarza, Genaro Fessia, Alfredo Lalanne, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Juan Jose Imhoff
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton