2012 France rugby union tour of Argentina

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2012 France rugby union tour of Argentina
Coach(es) Philippe Saint-André
Tour captain(s) Pascal Papé
Top point scorer(s) Frédéric Michalak (38)
Top try scorer(s) Yoann Huget (2)
Geoffrey Doumayrou (2)
Top test point scorer(s) Frédéric Michalak (19)
Top test try scorer(s) Yoann Huget (2)
Summary
P W D L
Total
03 02 00 01
Test match
02 01 00 01
Opponent
P W D L
 Argentina
1 1 0 1
Tour chronology
Previous tour South Africa & Argentina 2010
Next tour New Zealand 2013

In June 2012, France toured Argentina to play two Tests against the Pumas. The French tour was one in a series of tours by northern teams to be hosted by southern hemisphere nations.

The previous French tour of Argentina took place in 2010 as part of a global Two Test tour of South Africa and Argentina, where France lost to both nations. France's last winning tour of Argentina dated back to 1998 when the touring side claimed victory in both Tests. Since then France had an overall losing record against Argentina with 5 wins (4 at home and 1 in Ireland in the 1999 Rugby World Cup) and 7 losses (3 at home including two in the 2007 Rugby World Cup and 4 in Argentina).

No mid-week fixture had been planned for this tour, however most of the French squad, styled for the occasion as the "XV du Président", played a warm-up fixture against a team hand-picked by Serge Betsen, a former France international, for his jubilee.[1]

The series was drawn 1-1, Argentina winning the first test and France the second.[2]

Argentina and France's next encounter took place on 17 November 2012 on French soil as part of the 2012 end of year tests. France claimed another victory (39-22) against their old foes.

Background[edit]

Argentina experienced a strong start in the 2011 Rugby World Cup with a rather successful pool stage, finishing runners-up to England with three wins (over Georgia, Romania and Scotland) and a narrow loss to England (9-13). However the Pumas were unable to capitalise on it when they met future World Champions the All Blacks in the quarter-finals, losing 33-10.

France, on the other hand, experienced a rather slow start in the competition with two wins (over Japan and Canada) and two losses (to New Zealand and Tonga), finishing runners-up to New Zealand on the virtue of a greater tally of bonus points than Tonga (who also finished with two wins and two losses). However France produced a stronger showing in the knock-out stages, beating England in the quarter-finals (19-12), Wales in the semi-finals (9-8) and losing with the narrowest of margins to New Zealand in the final (8-7).

Due to the World Cup neither team played any Test in the 2011 end of year tests. On 2 January 2012 France was ranked 3rd in the IRB World Rankings while Argentina stood in the 7th place.

France experienced a disappointing 2012 Six Nations Championship with two wins (over Italy and Scotland), two losses (to England and Wales) and a draw (with Ireland), finishing 4th overall.

As a result on 2 April France had dropped to the 6th place in the IRB Rankings while Argentina remained on the 7th spot.

As part of Italy's Summer Tour of Americas and prior to the arrival of the French team, Argentina played a Test against Italy on Saturday 9 June in San Juan. Argentina won the game 37-22.[3]

Before the first test between France and Argentina they remained respectively on the 6th and 7th spot in the IRB Rankings.

Warm-up fixture[edit]

6 June 2012
20:15 CET (UTC+2)
Serge Betsen's XV 14 - 54 XV du Président
Try: Traille
Mehrtens
Con: Mehrtens (2)
Report Try: Huget
Lauret
Doumayrou (2)
Michalak
Lakafia
Ouedraogo
Héguy
Con: Michalak (7)
Serge Betsen's XV
FB 15 France Pepito Elhorga
RW 14 France Dave Vainqueur
OC 13 France Romain Cabannes
IC 12 France Damien Traille
LW 11 France Jean-Baptiste Gobelet
FH 10 New Zealand Andrew Mehrtens
SH 9 New Zealand Byron Kelleher
N8 8 New Zealand Chris Masoe
OF 7 France Jean Monribot
BF 6 France Serge Betsen (c)
RL 5 Cameroon Gambo Adamou
LL 4 Russia Kirill Kulemin
TP 3 England Tim Payne
HK 2 France Benoît August
LP 1 France Benoît Lecouls
Replacements:
HK 16 France Benjamin Noirot
PR 17 France Jérémy Castex
PR 18 France Fabien Barcella
LK 19 Cameroon Bernard N'Nomo
FL 20 South Africa Oscar Limani
UB 21 France Benjamin Dambielle
UB 22 Australia Paul Warwick
UB 23 France Julien Laharrague
WG 24 France Marvin O'Connor
Coach:
England David Ellis
XV du Président
FB 15 Brice Dulin
RW 14 Yoann Huget
OC 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou
IC 12 Maxime Mermoz
LW 11 Benjamin Fall
FH 10 Frédéric Michalak
SH 9 Maxime Machenaud
N8 8 Raphaël Lakafia
OF 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo
BF 6 Wenceslas Lauret
RL 5 Romain Taofifenua
LL 4 Pascal Papé (c)
TP 3 David Attoub
HK 2 Dimitri Szarzewski
LP 1 Yvan Watremez
Replacements:
HK 16 Arnaud Héguy
PR 17 Antoine Guillamon
PR 18 Yannick Forestier
LK 19 Alexandre Flanquart
N8 20 Damien Chouly
SH 21 Florian Cazenave
FH 22 François Trinh-Duc
CE 23 Henry Chavancy
WG 24 Romain Martial
Coach:
France Philippe Saint-André

Touch judges:
France TBC
France TBC
Television match official:
TBC

Test Matches[edit]

First Test[edit]

16 June 2012
18:10 ART (UTC-03)
Argentina  23–20

(13–14)

 France
Try: Agulla 4' c
Montero 76' c
Con: Contepomi (2/2) 5', 77'
Pen: Contepomi (3/6) 24', 39', 56'
Report Try: Picamoles 26' m
Con: Parra (0/1)
Pen: Parra (4/5) 3', 10', 22', 43'
Trinh-Duc (1/1) 52'
Argentina
FB 15 Román Miralles Substituted off 40'
RW 14 Belisario Agulla
OC 13 Joaquín Tuculet
IC 12 Felipe Contepomi (c)
LW 11 Manuel Montero
FH 10 Ignacio Mieres
SH 9 Martín Landajo Substituted off 48'
N8 8 Tomás Leonardi Temporarily suspended from 51' to 61' 51' to 61'
OF 7 Tomás de la Vega
BF 6 Julio Farías Cabello
RL 5 Esteban Lozada Substituted off 56'
LL 4 Benjamín Macome Substituted off 65'
TP 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro Substituted off 56'
HK 2 Bruno Postiglioni Substituted off 56'
LP 1 Eusebio Guiñazú
Replacements:
HK 16 Andrés Bordoy Substituted in 56'
PR 17 Pablo Henn Substituted in 56'
LK 18 Rodrigo Bruno Substituted in 65'
LK 19 Rodrigo Báez Substituted in 56'
SH 20 Tomás Cubelli Substituted in 48'
FB 21 Benjamín Urdapilleta Substituted in 40'
WG 22 Facundo Barrea
Coach:
Argentina Santiago Phelan
France
FB 15 Brice Dulin
RW 14 Jean-Marcellin Buttin
OC 13 Wesley Fofana
IC 12 Florian Fritz Substituted off 78'
LW 11 Yoann Huget
FH 10 François Trinh-Duc Substituted off 58'
SH 9 Morgan Parra
N8 8 Louis Picamoles Substituted off 66'
OF 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo
BF 6 Wenceslas Lauret
RL 5 Yoann Maestri Substituted off 74'
LL 4 Pascal Papé (c)
TP 3 David Attoub
HK 2 Dimitri Szarzewski Substituted off 66'
LP 1 Yvan Watremez Substituted off 40'
Replacements:
HK 16 Christopher Tolofua Substituted in 66'
PR 17 Vincent Debaty Substituted in 40'
LK 18 Romain Taofifenua Substituted in 74'
FL 19 Alexandre Lapandry Substituted in 66'
SH 20 Maxime Machenaud
FH 21 Frédéric Michalak Substituted in 58'
CE 22 Maxime Mermoz Substituted in 78'
Coach:
France Philippe Saint-André

Touch judges:
England Wayne Barnes
South Africa Christie du Preez
Television match official:
South Africa Shaun Veldsman

  • Brice Dulin, Romain Taofifenua, Christopher Tolofua and Yvan Watremez made their full international debuts for France in this match.
  • Rodrigo Baez made his full international debut for Argentina in this match.
  • With this match Argentina extended their winning streak at home against France to 5 games and 10 years and overcame them in the IRB Rankings (swapping their 7th place with France's 6th).

Second Test[edit]

23 June 2012
18:10 ART (UTC-03)
Argentina  10–49

(3–30)

 France
Try: Vega 74' c
Con: Contepomi 1/1 74'
Pen: Contepomi 1/1 25'
Try: Fall 11' c
Huget (2) 33' c, 62' m
Machenaud 39' c
Mermoz 55' c
Lapandry
Con: Michalak 5/6 12', 33', 40', 56', 68'
Pen: Michalak 3/3 17', 27', 30'
Argentina
FB 15 Joaquín Tuculet Substituted off 40'
RW 14 Facundo Barrea
OC 13 Agustín Gosio
IC 12 Felipe Contepomi (c)
LW 11 Manuel Montero
FH 10 Benjamín Urdapilleta
SH 9 Tomás Cubelli
N8 8 Leonardo Senatore Substituted off 58'
OF 7 Tomás Leonardi
BF 6 Tomás de la Vega
RL 5 Esteban Lozada
LL 4 Julio Farías Cabello Substituted off 27'
TP 3 Francisco Gómez Kodela
HK 2 Andrés Bordoy Substituted off 55'
LP 1 Eusebio Guiñazú
Replacements:
PR 16 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
HK 17 Bruno Postiglioni Substituted in 55'
LK 18 Santiago Guzmán
LK 19 Benjamin Macome Substituted in 27'
FL 20 Rodrigo Báez Substituted in 58'
SH 21 Martín Landajo
CE 22 Gabriel Ascarate Substituted in 40'
Coach:
Argentina Santiago Phelan
France
FB 15 Brice Dulin
RW 14 Benjamin Fall Substituted off 58'
OC 13 Florian Fritz
IC 12 Maxime Mermoz
LW 11 Yoann Huget
FH 10 Frédéric Michalak Substituted off 69'
SH 9 Maxime Machenaud Substituted off 69'
N8 8 Louis Picamoles Substituted off 64'
OF 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo
BF 6 Alexandre Lapandry Substituted off 79'
RL 5 Pascal Papé (c)
LL 4 Yoann Maestri Substituted off 47'
TP 3 David Attoub Substituted off 47'
HK 2 Dimitri Szarzewski Substituted off 56' Substituted in 79'
LP 1 Vincent Debaty
Replacements:
HK 16 Christopher Tolofua Substituted in 56' Temporarily suspended from 72' to 80' 72' to 80'
PR 17 Thomas Domingo Substituted in 47'
LK 18 Christophe Samson Substituted in 47'
FL 19 Wenceslas Lauret Substituted in 64'
SH 20 Morgan Parra Substituted in 69'
FH 21 François Trinh-Duc Substituted in 69'
CE 22 Wesley Fofana Substituted in 58'
Coach:
France Philippe Saint-André

Touch judges:
England Wayne Barnes
South Africa Christie du Preez
Television match official:
South Africa Shaun Veldsman

  • Facundo Barrea made his full international debut for Argentina in this match.
  • Maxime Machenaud and Christophe Samson made their full international debuts for France in this match.
  • France won the Series, tied 1-1, on points difference (69-33).
  • With this victory France ended a 14-year timespan without a win against the Pumas on Argentinian soil, the previous victorious Test dating back to 28 June 1998, and once again overcame Argentina in the IRB Rankings.

Touring squad[edit]

Philippe Saint-André announced his 28-man France squad for the June tour to Argentina. Several key faces were rested, including captain Thierry Dusautoir.[5]

  • Caps updated before the June tour. Ages are as of the first Test on 16 June.

Head Coach: Philippe Saint-André

Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.

Player Position Date of Birth (Age) Caps Club/province
Dimitri Szarzewski Hooker (1983-01-26)26 January 1983 (aged 29) 61 France Stade Français
Christopher Tolofua Hooker (1993-12-31)31 December 1993 (aged 18) 0 France Toulouse
David Attoub Prop (1981-06-07)7 June 1981 (aged 31) 2 France Stade Français
Vincent Debaty Prop (1981-10-02)2 October 1981 (aged 30) 6 France Clermont
Thomas Domingo* Prop (1985-08-20)20 August 1985 (aged 26) 17 France Clermont
Antoine Guillamon Prop (1991-06-04)4 June 1991 (aged 21) 0** France Lyon
Yvan Watremez* Prop (1989-04-21)21 April 1989 (aged 23) 0 France Biarritz
Yoann Maestri Lock (1988-01-14)14 January 1988 (aged 24) 5 France Toulouse
Pascal Papé (c) Lock (1980-10-05)5 October 1980 (aged 31) 40 France Stade Français
Christophe Samson Lock (1984-03-01)1 March 1984 (aged 28) 0 France Toulon
Romain Taofifenua Lock (1990-09-14)14 September 1990 (aged 21) 0 France Perpignan
Alexandre Lapandry Flanker (1989-04-13)13 April 1989 (aged 23) 6 France Clermont
Wenceslas Lauret Flanker (1989-03-28)28 March 1989 (aged 23) 1 France Biarritz
Fulgence Ouedraogo Flanker (1986-07-21)21 July 1986 (aged 25) 25 France Montpellier
Raphaël Lakafia Number 8 (1988-10-28)28 October 1988 (aged 23) 3 France Biarritz
Louis Picamoles Number 8 (1986-02-05)5 February 1986 (aged 26) 26 France Toulouse
Maxime Machenaud Scrum-half (1988-12-30)30 December 1988 (aged 23) 0 France Agen
Morgan Parra Scrum-half (1988-11-15)15 November 1988 (aged 23) 41 France Clermont
Frédéric Michalak Fly-half (1982-10-16)16 October 1982 (aged 29) 54 South Africa Sharks
François Trinh-Duc Fly-half (1986-11-11)11 November 1986 (aged 25) 40 France Montpellier
Geoffrey Doumayrou Centre (1989-09-16)16 September 1989 (aged 22) 0** France Montpellier
Wesley Fofana Centre (1988-01-20)20 January 1988 (aged 24) 5 France Clermont
Florian Fritz Centre (1984-01-17)17 January 1984 (aged 28) 20 France Toulouse
Maxime Mermoz Centre (1986-07-28)28 July 1986 (aged 25) 17 France Perpignan
Benjamin Fall Wing (1989-03-03)3 March 1989 (aged 23) 2 France Racing Métro
Yoann Huget Wing (1987-06-02)2 June 1987 (aged 25) 7 France Bayonne
Romain Martial Wing (1984-11-13)13 November 1984 (aged 27) 0** France Castres
Jean-Marcellin Buttin Fullback (1991-12-16)16 December 1991 (aged 20) 1 France Clermont
Brice Dulin Fullback (1990-04-23)23 April 1990 (aged 22) 0 France Agen

Note*: After he sustained an injury in the First Test, Yvan Watremez was replaced in the squad by Thomas Domingo. (Philippe Saint-André originally planned to call up Castres prop Yannick Forestier but the latter was touring Japan with the French Barbarians and no satisfactory travel arrangement could be made, hence prompting the return of Domingo in the French squad after he sustained an important injury prior to the 2011 Rugby World Cup which prevented him from taking part in the competition and playing the major part of the 2011-2012 season with his club.)[6]

Note**: Although they took part in the warm-up fixture, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Antoine Guillamon and Romain Martial failed to appear in any of the Tests, thus remaining uncapped at the end of the Tour.

Coaching and Management Team[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Head Coach Philippe Saint-André  France
Forwards Coach Yannick Bru  France
Backs & Defence Coach Patrice Lagisquet  France

Home squad[edit]

Argentina's 29-man squad named for the 2012 June Tests against Italy and France. Coach Santiago Phelan decided not to select any player involved in the Top 14 playoffs, reserving his best squad for the upcoming 2012 Rugby Championship.[7] Esteban Lozada was a late addition to the squad after his recovery from injury.[8]

Head Coach: Santiago Phelan

  • Caps updated before tour. Ages are as of the first Test on 16 June.
Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.
Player Position Date of Birth (Age) Caps Club/province
Andrés Bordoy Hooker (1982-12-30)30 December 1982 (aged 29) 3 France Pau
Eusebio Guiñazú Hooker (1982-01-15)15 January 1982 (aged 30) 8 France Biarritz
Francisco Gómez Kodela Prop (1985-07-03)3 July 1985 (aged 26) 3 France Biarritz
Pablo Henn Prop (1982-07-15)15 July 1982 (aged 29) 2 France Brive
Bruno Postiglioni Prop (1987-04-08)8 April 1987 (aged 25) 0 Argentina La Plata
Rodrigo Roncero Prop (1977-02-16)16 February 1977 (aged 35) 44 France Stade Français
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro Prop (1989-06-11)11 June 1989 (aged 23) 3 France Stade Français
Rodrigo Bruno Lock (1987-05-15)15 May 1987 (aged 25) 2 Argentina Villa Maria
Santiago Guzmán Lock (1989-01-11)11 January 1989 (aged 23) 5 Argentina Tucumán
Esteban Lozada Lock (1982-01-08)8 January 1982 (aged 30) 17 Scotland Edinburgh
Benjamin Macome Lock (1986-01-10)10 January 1986 (aged 26) 3 Argentina Tucumán
Rodrigo Báez Flanker (1989-02-08)8 February 1989 (aged 23) 0 Argentina Liceo
Tomás de la Vega Flanker (1990-09-28)28 September 1990 (aged 21) 3 Argentina CUBA
Julio Farías Cabello Flanker (1978-09-19)19 September 1978 (aged 33) 8 Argentina Tucumán
Genaro Fessia Flanker (1981-07-22)22 July 1981 (aged 30) 11 Argentina Córdoba
Tomás Cristian Leonardi Number 8 (1987-07-01)1 July 1987 (aged 24) 6 Argentina SIC
Leonardo Senatore Number 8 (1984-05-13)13 May 1984 (aged 28) 3 France Toulon
Tomás Cubelli Scrum-half (1989-06-12)12 June 1989 (aged 23) 0 Argentina Belgrano
Martín Landajo Scrum-half (1988-06-14)14 June 1988 (aged 24) 6 Argentina CASI
Felipe Contepomi (c) Fly-half (1977-08-20)20 August 1977 (aged 34) 65 France Stade Français
Ignacio Mieres Fly-half (1987-04-06)6 April 1987 (aged 25) 0 England Exeter Chiefs
Gabriel Ascarate Centre (1987-08-20)20 August 1987 (aged 24) 3 Argentina Natación
Matias Orlando Centre (1991-11-14)14 November 1991 (aged 20) 0* Argentina Huirapuca
Benjamín Urdapilleta Centre (1986-03-11)11 March 1986 (aged 26) 2 England Harlequins
Belisario Agulla Wing (1988-05-23)23 May 1988 (aged 24) 5 France Agen
Facundo Barrea Wing (1989-03-10)10 March 1989 (aged 23) 0 Argentina Córdoba
Agustín Gosio Wing (1983-03-17)17 March 1983 (aged 29) 2 England London Scottish
Manuel Montero Wing (1991-11-20)20 November 1991 (aged 20) 0 Argentina Pucara
Roman Miralles Fullback (1983-08-01)1 August 1983 (aged 28) 4 Argentina Duendes
Joaquín Tuculet Fullback (1989-08-01)1 August 1989 (aged 22) 0 England Sale Sharks

Note*: Matias Orlando failed to appear in any of the Tests against both Italy and France, thus remaining uncapped at the end of the Tour.

Coaching and Management Team[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Head Coach Santiago Phelan  Argentina
Assistant Coach Fabián Turnes  Argentina
Backs Coach Martín Gaitán  Argentina
Forwards and Scrum Coach Mauricio Reggiardo  Argentina

Aftermath[edit]

On 25 June 2012 (after all mid-year Tests had been played) France stood at the 5th place (their best ranking since March 2012) in the IRB Rankings (thanks to their second test comprehensive victory over the Pumas and Wales' loss to Australia in their third test) while Argentina had dropped to the 8th spot (their worst ranking since March 2012).

From August to October 2012, Argentina competed in the inaugural Rugby Championship (the new incarnation of the Tri Nations Series) with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, finishing bottom of the table with a draw (at home against the Springboks) and five losses. On 8 October 2012 France and Argentina remained respectively at the 5th and 8th places of the IRB World ranking.

As part of the 2012 end of year tests the Pumas toured Wales, France and Ireland, playing one Test against each union.[9] They beat the Welsh but lost to the two other unions while France recorded three straight wins (against Australia, Argentina and Samoa). At the end of their Tests France had climbed to the IRB rankings 4th place, their best ranking since February 2012, while Argentina had dropped to the 9th place, their worst ranking since September 2011. However following the fourth week of Tests (of which Argentina and France were not part) Argentina climbed back to the 8th place thanks to Wales' defeat by Australia over the weekend.

As a result on December 3 for the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool Draw France was drawn in Pot 1 while Argentina was drawn in Pot 2 and they ended up in Pool D and C respectively, meaning they will not meet before the Quarter Finals.

From February to March 2013, France competed in the Six Nations Championship (the 14th series following this format) with England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy and Wales, finishing bottom of the table with one win (at home against Scotland), a draw (in Ireland) and three losses (at home to Wales, in England and Italy). On 18 March 2013 France has dropped to the 6th place in the IRB rankings while Argentina remained on the 8th place.

As part of the 2013 mid-year tests, France will tour New Zealand in a Three-Test Series[10] while Argentina will host England in a Two-Test Series and Georgia for a one-off Test.

See also[edit]

References[edit]