Friday 15 December 2017

Contepomi plans to conquer Welsh 'Everest'

Felipe Contepomi is ready to face the man he has dubbed rugby's "Everest" when he lines up opposite Jamie Roberts on Saturday.

Veteran centre Contepomi (35) has been recalled to the Argentina starting line-up for the Millennium Stadium Test against Wales, having sat out the Pumas' Rugby Championship campaign.

It will be the Stade Francais back's 79th cap for his country, but his return will see him face the responsibility of coping with the wrecking-ball abilities of Roberts, who is back in the Wales team having missed the tour of Australia after undergoing knee surgery.

Contepomi will be giving away four inches in height and around 30lb in weight to the Cardiff Blues centre, and while he is relishing the task ahead, he knows just how difficult a test it will be.

"It's a huge challenge. It's like climbing Mount Everest," Contepomi said. "Jamie is one of the best centres in Europe, if not the world.

"As a player you want to play against the best and to have that challenge on Saturday and I'm looking forward to it. He's a great guy and it's delightful to watch him play, but it's not so good when he's in front of you."

The opening fixture of the Pumas' tour, which also includes games against France and Ireland, sees Contepomi return to the venue of one of his most treasured rugby memories. Contepomi is the only survivor from the Argentina side that stunned Wales 30-16 in Cardiff in 2001.

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