Friday 14 December 2018

Argentina name legendary captain Mario Ledesma as new head coach

New Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma during his time as Australia forwards coach at the 2015 World Cup. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
New Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma during his time as Australia forwards coach at the 2015 World Cup. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Phil Blanche

Argentina have named former Pumas hooker Mario Ledesma as their new coach.

Ledesma succeeds Daniel Hourcade, who resigned in June after a string of losses, and was unveiled at a press conference on Wednesday.

"Being captain of the ship fills me with pride," Ledesma said at Argentina Rugby Union headquarters in Buenos Aires.

"It is not a pressure or something I am intimidated by, but it is a huge challenge. The expectation is to compete and win."

Hourcade guided Argentina to the 2015 Rugby World Cup semi-finals in England, but since then the Pumas have won six Tests and lost 22.

Argentina lost all six matches in the Rugby Championship last season, and Hourcade's tenure came to an end after the Pumas lost to weakened Wales and Scotland sides at home this summer.

Ledesma took charge of Super Rugby side Jaguares this season and led the Argentinian side into the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.

The 45-year-old confirmed that hooker Agustin Creevy will remain captain as Argentina prepare for their 2019 Rugby Championship opener against South Africa in Durban on August 18.

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