Pumas hand boss Phelan new deal
December 22, 2011
Santiago Phelan has been handed a new two-year deal © Getty Images
Argentina have handed coach Santiago 'Tati' Phelan a new two-year deal.
Phelan guided the Pumas through the 2011 World Cup - where they bowed out in the quarter-finals to the eventual winners New Zealand - and faces a year of unchartered territory with the Argentinean national side.
They open their campaign in the inaugural Rugby Championship on August 18 against South Africa in Durban and before that they will have already played a Test against Italy on June 9 and two against France on June 16 and 23. The 12 Test match programme is a first for the Pumas.
But despite failing to live up to their impressive performance during the 2007 World Cup, where they finished third, the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) president Luis Castillo has praised Phelan for his hard graft.
"Tati's [Phelan] appointment as trainer confirms our interest in ratifying his tenure, which was extremely satisfactory from various points of view," Castillo said. "Now is the time to continue working to improve day by day and face a new calendar with a lot of activity."
And the UAR has confirmed that the cities of Mendoza and Rosario will host the 2012 Pumas' home Tests. The confirmation sees Cordoba and Tucuman miss out after the UAR invited the major cities to put forward their claims to host the side.
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