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Players need rest says Pumas coach

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma. File Picture: Dave Hunt, EPA

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma says his exhausted squad needs some rest after playing for almost 12 months straight.

GOLD COAST – An exhausted Pumas squad needs rest after playing for almost 12 months straight, their coach Mario Ledesma said after Saturday’s 32-17 Rugby Championship loss to the Wallabies on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

The Pumas were never in the contest against the Wallabies, with two late tries making the scoreboard look more respectable.

It was the sixth consecutive loss for the Pumas, who also went down to South Africa and New Zealand in the tournament.

Ledesma said Argentina needed to go home and rest ahead of their November northern hemisphere tour, which features matches against France, Italy and Ireland.

“They need rest, rest that they haven’t had this year,” he said.

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“The boys have been playing 12 months in a row,” he said, having finished up their club seasons in Europe, the July internationals, and then competing in the Australian tournament after only 10 days off.

“It’s not the best way to prepare – they need rest.”

The Pumas are not going straight into camp and will go home for a break, although Ledesma noted that their homes are all over the world.

“Some go to Argentina, some go to England, some go to France, Italy.”

Argentina were disappointing in this year’s Rugby Championship following their breakthrough in 2020 when they beat New Zealand and drew twice with the Wallabies.

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“It’s been really consistent, the mistakes we’ve been making,” Ledesma said.

“Discipline, our set pieces, especially our scrum, not scoring when we have opportunities.”

Ledesma conceded the players were struggling following the gruelling schedule but said that there had been “long-term injuries, but there are a total of 17 injuries”.

He said that while they had started the tour with 48, they had been whittled down to 32.

“No long-term, but soft tissue, broken noses, stuff like that that keeps you off the game for a week, two weeks, a month,” he said.

“But that’s just the way it is.”


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