Contepomi set to miss The Rugby Championship
June 24, 2012
Felipe Contepomi recently overtook Hugo Porta as Argentina's record points scorer © Getty Images
Felipe Contepomi may have played his last game for Argentina with the influential playmaker set to be back on club duty when the Pumas make their Rugby Championship bow later this year.
The veteran has been in inspired form recently and guided a youthful Argentina team to victories over Italy and France, before they slipped to a 49-10 loss against France in the second Test in Tucuman on Saturday. Argentina will make their bow in the expanded Tri-Nations away to South Africa in Durban on August 18, but Contepomi does not expect to be involved.
"To play in the Four Nations [Rugby Championship], you have to prepare in July. The Argentine federation has an agreement with the European clubs - those that play in the June internationals won't take part in the new championship," he said. "I am going to take four week's vacation and then I will take part in pre-season training with Stade Francais. If the coaches want it, I will always be here. But I don't think I can play in the Four Nations."
Coach Santiago Phelan has been preparing a separate squad for The Rugby Championship, but he is certain to miss Contepomi's contribution after he scored 22 points in 37-22 win over Italy, added 12 in the 23-20 first Test victory against France, then landed a conversion and a penalty in the second Test defeat.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures