|Full name||Mario Ezequiel Ledesma Arocena|
|Date of birth||May 17, 1973|
|Place of birth||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||110 kg (17 st 5 lb; 243 lb)|
|Rugby union career|
Mario Ledesma Arocena (born 17 May 1973 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine rugby union football coach and a former professional player. Prior to retiring in 2011, he played as a hooker for the French clubs ASM Clermont Auvergne and Castres Olympique in the Top 14 competition. He was previously at another French club, Narbonne, and the Curupaytí club in Argentina. Ledesma also played for the Argentina national team, including being a part of their 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 squads. He was appointed as the forwards coach at Stade Français for the 2011-12 season before joining Montpellier in 2012 where he held the same position until November 2014. At the start of the 2015 Super Rugby season, Mario joined the Waratahs as coach observer. He is now the forwards and set-piece coach for the Wallabies.
Ledesma was an under-19 and student international for Argentina during the early years of his career. He made his international debut against Uruguay in 1996. He played one other match in 1996, against Canada. He then became a regular in the Argentina team, and even captaining them against Japan in September 1998. He played numerous games during the 1999 World Cup in Wales.
He won over 10 caps in the buildup to the 2003 World Cup in Australia, where he played in numerous games, including the tournament opener against the Wallabies at Telstra Stadium, Sydney. He went on the November tours in both 2004 and 2005, and was a part of the team that defeated Wales in the home Test series during June 2006.
Ledesma is one of many unsung and underrated Argentinian and worldwide professional rugby players. Through much of the millennium decade and into Argentina's impressive 2007 Rugby World Cup, which succeed in gaining Argentina's highest world cup finish of third place. He was considered one of the world's top hookers for his workrate, mobility, lineout throwing and pivotal set-piece leadership, earning him the nickname "scrum doctor" for his masterful skills in the scrum.
At the 2011 World Cup, Ledesma was one of the leaders of Los Pumas' pack. At the Pool stages, Argentina came 2nd, losing only to England. The Daily Telegraph considered Ledesma as one of the best in his position at the 2011 World Cup. On 9 October 2011, Mario played his last game on a Pumas jersey, against the New Zealand All Blacks, in what was Argentina's elimination from the World Cup.
Ledesma comes from a sporting family. His younger brother Pedro Ledesma recently signed with the French club Stade Français.
- Planet Rugby (24 January 2015). "Ledesma to link up with Waratahs".
- The Daily Telegraph (3 August 2011). "Greatest Rugby World Cup XV: hooker profiles - Mario Ledesma". London.