Contepomi hopes Pumas extend French streak

Argentinian captain Felipe Contepomi wants his team to put in a repeat performance of their 41-13 humiliation of the Six Nations Grand Slam champions in June this year.

The 33-year-old believes that the match in June was the perfect performance and still revels in the memory of the June match in Buenos Aires where they dismantled the French, who had arrived euphoric on the back of their first Grand Slam since 2004.

“I think that it is the best match Argentina have played in the past two years,” said Contepomi who was a key member of the team that reached the 2007 World Cup semi-finals.

“We succeeded with everything we tried, but that is indeed a rare match. Normally we would have committed a lot more mistakes.

“It is the perfect match that one produces in every 10 matches,” added Contepomi, who scored 31 points including two tries.

Contepomi, a qualified surgeon who completed his studies at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin whilst enjoying a successful spell with Leinster, said that the match had been a landmark moment for him and his team-mates as they also recorded their seventh win in their last nine matches.

“That match was very important because it showed us that we were on the right path,” he told AFP.

“We needed a really good match because we had begun a new cycle a year-and-a-half ago, but without achieving a notable result.”

Contepomi, whose father Carlos is also a surgeon and a former international as well as being the national coach from 1976-79, has joined the numerous Argentinians playing in France, which might explain how more than most teams they have got the better of the French, since he ended his six year spell in Leinster.

Contepomi joined big spending Top 14 side Toulon, where he rubs shoulders with another kicking legend England’s Jonny Wilkinson, and said that France was a natural spiritual home for him and his compatriots.

“For us Argentinians, French rugby has been an example,” he said.

“When I was young, in the 80’s and 90’s, I was going to watch the French side when they came to Argentina to play.

“We love the French rugby culture. It is the reason for which the majority of Argentinians play in France today,” he added.

Argentina beat 2007 Rugby World cup hosts France in the pool stages of the tournament and again when the teams met for the third and fourth place play off.


France beat Argentina 12-6 in Marseille after the world cup but Argentina won in June at Buenos Aires.

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