Friday 22 September 2017

Puma primed for powerful finish

Munster's Argentinian international front-row Eusebio Guinazu's loan deal has been extended to the end of the season
Munster's Argentinian international front-row Eusebio Guinazu's loan deal has been extended to the end of the season

John Fallon

He is not the first Argentinian to settle in the Munster front-row and he probably won't be the last, but Eusebio Guinazu is determined to see out the season on a high after having his loan deal extended.

The 34-year-old, capped 36 times by Argentina, arrived in Munster in September on what was initially a four-month loan deal after hookers Damien Varley and Mike Sherry became long-term injury casualties.

That loan has now been extended to the end of the season and Guinazu, who has played across all three front row positions in a career which has seen him spend most of the last decade in Europe, hasn't ruled out a longer stay.

But for now the Mendoza native just wants to enjoy his rugby having settled in Cork and wants to contribute to a big finish to the season.

He said he sees a lot in common in Munster with the way he grew up playing the game in Argentina, with the desire to contribute to the jersey exceeding everything else.

"What's quite difficult to find in professional rugby these days is the mix between a really professional set-up with a really - how can you call it? - like an amateur mindset, and I'm saying that guys really love to play for their province and that's the kind of feeling I had when I was playing in Argentina, where rugby is not professional and where we played just because we love playing for our clubs and provinces.

"That is what I found here, guys are desperate to play for their province here and they love the province that they are playing for and there is also a very professional set-up here which is good.

"I don't know what I'll be doing next season yet but I'm very happy here playing enjoying my rugby here so I'll see what happens," said Guinazu, who has played 11 times since arriving in Ireland having had stints in France and South Africa.

He knows that tomorrow's clash with Glasgow Warriors is huge in the battle for supremacy in the Pro12.

"I think it is this kind of game where you prove your character and where you want to go in this tournament.

"If you want to win it, you need to beat these teams so it's a great chance for us to show everybody where we want to go," he added.

Irish Independent

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