Felipe Contepomi explains how he ended up playing for Carlow RFC before making his Leinster debut
Felipe Contepomi is back at Leinster for his second spell at the province but before he pulled on the blue jersey for the first time over 14 years ago he actually played for another Irish club - Carlow RFC.
The Argentine legend - who is now Leinster's backs coach - first joined the team from Bristol for the 2003/04 season Bristol but a registration issue delayed his debut. In order to keep his match sharpness, Leinster opted to let Contepomi play in the AIL and somewhat bizarrely, the international star ended up playing for Carlow against Shannon.
Speaking on The Left Wing, Independent.ie's rugby podcast in association with Laya Healthcare, Contepomi explained that his relationship with the Carlow player-coach Dan van Zyl prompted his appearance with the club.
"Dan van Zyl brought me there because I was friends from when I played South Africa with Argentina and when I played in Bristol he stayed in my home," he said.
"He came here and he was the coach and playing for Carlow but when he left it was too far away!"
Even with a top class playmaker in their side, Carlow lost 20-11 to Shannon, who were an AIL behemoth at the time and Contepomi went on to enjoy a glittering career in Ireland.
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