Rugby Championship News

Daniel Hourcade steps up to coach Argentina





The Argentinian Rugby Union have announced that Daniel Hourcade will replace Santiago Phelan as Pumas head coach with immediate effect.

Phelan resigned on Monday and the Argentina Rugby Union have promoted Hourcade from the B team to the senior team.

Hourcade, nicknamed the ‘egg’, will begin with the November test series against England at Twickenham on November 9, Wales at the Millennium Stadium a week later and Italy in Rome the week after that.

However, former Argentinian scrum-half Agustin Pichot, a member of the side that reached the 2007 World Cup semi-finals, and now a director of the UAR said they hoped Hourcade would stay on till the 2015 World Cup.

The resignation of Phelan, 39 and who guided the Pumas to the 2011 World Cup quarter-finals after succeeding Marcello Loffreda, came as no surprise after six successive defeats in the recent Four Nations tournament, although he had been thought likely to stay until his contract came to an end in December.

However, Phelan said on Tuesday he felt let down by several of the Pumas senior players, who had leaked unsavoury stories about the squad to the press.

Divisions had become more apparent in recent times over the captaincy and Phelan’s selection policy with one clique gathering round captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and the other round Patricio Albacete.

“My decision to resign now is because some of the things that went on within the team was leaked to the press and that indicates there is not a unified squad, and is a lack of respect to the rest of the team,” he said.

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