Juan Pablo Orlandi signs for Newcastle

Aviva Premiership club the Newcastle Falcons have announced the arrival of Argentine tighthead prop Juan Pablo Orlandi. The signing sees the Mendoza front-rower transfering from Bath whom he joined after previously playing in France for five seasons for Racing Métro. Prior to playing for Racing Métro Orlandi also played in Italy for Rovigo and was approached to play for Italy at international level but, instead, accepted international selection for the country he was born and raised in, Argentina. In moving to Northern England he will link up with two other Argentine players and could possibly form a prop partnership with a North American. 

Capped fifteen times by Argentina Juan Pablo Orlandi remains a possibility for this year’s Rugby World Cup. He has, however, not played for his country for over twelve months. Upon replacing Santiago Phelan Daniel Hourcade did not select Orlandi despite him having started against the Wallabies in the final round Rugby Championship fixture of 2013.

Orlandi had started in place of the injured Juan Figallo but Hourcade opted for Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro and the previously uncapped Ramiro Herrera as his specialist tighthead props in 2014. Both props are playing in the Top 14 and getting regular game time. Orlandi’s move to Newcastle from Bath could offer him a greater opportunity at pushing for a return to the squad ahead of the World Cup. Continue reading Juan Pablo Orlandi signs for Newcastle

Brazilian Squad for Pan American Games Qualifying

The Confederação Brasileira de Rugby (CBRu) has announced a fifteen-man squad for the two upcoming international Sevens tournaments in South America – the Sevens de Mar del Plata in Argentina and the Viña del Mar Sevens in Chile. The two respective events carry significant value as there are places on the line for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and the 2015 Hong Kong Sevens. The Brazilians have the goal of qualifying for both as they prepare to be as strong as possible for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.  

The Mar del Plata Sevens will take place on January 10-11 in the Argentine beach resort town and two participants will be awarded with places at the Pan American Games to be played in Toronto, Canada in July. Brazil will face Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela in the tournament with the top two securing places in Toronto.

Pre-qualified teams for Toronto 2015 include Argentina, Canada, Uruguay, the USA and 2011 Pan American Games hosts Mexico. Whether or not Brazil does secure qualification will not ultimately impact on the country playing rugby at the Games due to Brazil together with Canada and the USA having already qualified in the womens section.  Continue reading Brazilian Squad for Pan American Games Qualifying

Canadian Squad for South American tour

An experimental Canadian Sevens team will compete in the upcoming international Sevens competitions in Argentina and Chile this month. With there being a two-month break from the Sevens World Circuit Canadian rugby is to use the Mar del Plata and Viña del Mar tournaments as a way to fill in time and give some fringe players the opportunity to impress for higher honors. The team involved is to be the Canada Maple Leafs rather than the official  international Canadian Sevens team. Later in the year Canada is to have the honor of hosting the Pan American Games in Toronto. Canada won gold in Guadalajara, Mexico four years earlier. 

Rugby Canada named a twelve man squad which is now in Argentina preparing for the Seven de Mar del Plata which will be played this Saturday and Sunday. It is to be followed by the 2015 Viña del Mar Sevens one week later. The two tournaments exist as qualifying for significant global events – the Pan American Games and the Hong Kong Sevens of which Canada has already secured its place in both.

Opportunities have therefore been given to players to press their case for more game time with the Canadian Sevens team. Some of the missing players are to be John Moonlight, Sean Duke, Justin Douglas and Conor Trainor. Under 20 players have been given a call-up with an eye to the future and it is hoped that this will enable Canada to fast-track some into the seniors.  Continue reading Canadian Squad for South American tour