- Phelan leans on experience of 79-cap Contepomi
- Young Pumas to feature during England Test series
Photo: Getty Images
Veteran fly half-cum-centre Felipe Contepomi is the most experienced member of a 28-man squad selected by Argentina coach Santiago Phelan for the two Tests against England next month.
Phelan has rested the majority of his European-based, high-profile players ahead of the Pumas’ involvement in The Rugby Championship between August and September.
Marcos Ayerza, Juan Imhoff, Juan Martin Hernandez and Horacio Agulla are among those deemed surplus to requirements in June, which also sees a match against Georgia after the two-match series with England.
Contepomi retired from club rugby at the end of Stade Francais’ domestic season, but asked specifically for an international swansong and will be crucial to a young group.
The 35 year-old has represented Argentina 79 times, scoring 631 points in the process. He joins two players from Super Rugby in Nicolás Vergallo and Tomás Leonardi, both of whom ply their trade for South African franchise Southern Kings.
Tomás Carrió Duendes and Benjamín Madero have both been selected for the first time along with Guillermo Roan and Mauricio Guidone.
On the selection, Phelan said: "It's a very demanding window which is a nice opportunity to see a lot of players in action.
"They will be very intense matches and top notch. Although England won't have their players touring with the British and Irish Lions, they will be a top level team and (with players who) compete in very demanding leagues."
Belisario Agulla (Agen), Gabriel Ascarate (Carcassonne), Rodrigo Baez (Los Pampas), Martín Bustos Moyano (Bayonne), Maximiliano Bustos (Montpellier), Tomás Carrio (Duendes), Felipe Contepomi (Stade Francais), Tomás Cubelli (Los Pampas), Tomás De la Vega (Los Pampas), Julio Farias Cabello (London Welsh), Mariano Galarza (Los Pampas), Martín Garcia Veiga (Los Pampas), Francisco Gomez Kodela (Biarritz), Mauricio Guidone (Los Pampas), Pablo Henn (Brive), Martín Landajo (Los Pampas), Tomas Leonardi (Southern Kings), Esteban Lozada (Agen), Benjamín Macome (Los Pampas), Benjamín Madero (Los Pampas), Manuel Montero (Los Pampas), Matías Orlando (Los Pampas), Bruno Postiglioni (Los Pampas), Guillermo Roan (Cavalieri Prato), Gonzalo Tiesi (London Welsh), Benjamin Urdapilleta (Oyonnax), Tomás Vallejos Cinalli (Coca Cola West Red Sparks), Nicolás Vergallo (Southern Kings).