While waiting to complete the squad with the “Europeans”, Mario Ledesma’s team began this Tuesday with formal training sessions for the Three Nations that will begin on November 14 against the All Blacks.
The Pumas are still working in Australia for the Rugby Championship, which in this 2020 marked by the coronavirus pandemic will have a special edition, in a single venue and without South Africa, which confirmed its withdrawal from the contest a few days ago. The Argentine national team, installed since October 6 in Sydney, started a new stage in preparation on Tuesday. Because after completing the 14 days of mandatory quarantine, they will move to the town of Manly, where they will have more freedom to train and can play some friendlies.
“In some way, it is a very great joy for all of us to have the possibility of getting out of the confinement. On the campus there are boys who left their homes 11 weeks ago, when we started training post-pandemic. The truth is that these days were difficult in terms of the life of a team. To habits, to get together again whenever we want and also have meals together. We must not forget that we come from two quarantines, if we count the 15 bubble days that we spent in Uruguay. And at the same time, in Argentina, with the fear of contagion, we were also quite locked up. Undoubtedly, it is to rediscover freedom and feel privileged to have this opportunity “, said coach Mario Ledesma in statements released by the UAR.
The team of 32 players and 16 staff members who traveled to Australia from Montevideo, after a concentration in that city, spent the first two weeks of their stay in that country in Sydney, where they underwent a Covid-19 test every 72 hours, they conducted individual isolation in the hotel rooms and worked in the gym in small groups. They only left the hotel for on-court training, which they did in the Leichhardt Oval, 40 minutes from the concentration.
From this Tuesday, they will carry out the work as normal. There will be no more need for social distancing at meal times, video analysis team meetings, or training sessions at the Sídney Academy of Sport.
In addition, they will have the chance to play some friendly matches to recover the rhythm of the game that only matches on the court give. Saturday afternoon will be the first, before a team of Waratahs.
“Friendlies are fundamental. Of the players, the one who played the most games in 2020 did so seven times. So having the possibility of playing at least three games before the debut against New Zealand seems little like preparation but for We are very important. South Africa spoke of having 400 minutes per player, we will surely be around 100. Today we will surely face three different teams and we will get all the juice we can, “said Ledesma.
The Sydney hotel is now occupied by the group of players from Europe, who will quarantine there for the next two weeks, accompanied by Nicolas Fernandez Miranda, assistant coach, and Rodolfo Broggi, physiotherapist, before joining the bulk of the squad.
The thirteen who will be arriving from “Old Continent” are Matías Alemanno, Facundo Bosch, Ignacio Calles, Santiago Cordero, Franciso Gómez Kodela, Juan Imhoff, Facundo Isa, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera, Lucas Mensa, Ramiro Moyano, Guido Petti and Nicolás Sánchez .
“I spoke with several of the players, the truth is that they are very excited and their coming is going to be an important energy injection for when they get together with the rest of the team,” said Ledesma.
After the confirmation of the withdrawal of South Africa, the Rugby Championship will be transformed for this year into a Three nations. Argentina will debut on November 14 against New Zealand in Sydney. Then he will travel to Newcastle, where he will meet Australia on the 21st and again with the All Blacks on the 28th. And he will close his participation again in Sydney before the home games, on December 5.