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Argentina back follows Matera in joining an NZ Super Rugby team

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)

Martin Bogado has followed the precedent set by Pablo Matera and become the second Argentina player to sign for a New Zealand-based Super Rugby Pacific franchise. Pumas skipper Matera helped the Crusaders to Super Rugby glory earlier this year and the Highlanders will now hope their Argentine signing Bogado can wield a similar type of influence on them.

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Bogado played twice for Bayonne in the Top 14 in October before joining up with Michael Cheika’s Argentina team for their November tour. He made the breakthrough last season playing for the Jaguares XV in the Super Liga Americana.

A statement read: “The Highlanders have added their last player to their 2023 squad with the signing of Argentinian Martin Bogado. The 24-year-old winger/full-back is currently assembled with Michael Cheika’s Los Pumas on their UK tour. In July he had two outings for an Argentinian XV against Portugal and Georgia and has been playing in the French Top 14 competition for Bayonne.

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“Bogado is a physical outside back and at 1.91m and 97kgs, he has the size and pace to cause opposition’s defence problems. He is not the first Argentinian to further his rugby ambitions by playing Super Rugby. Pumas captain Pablo Matera played for the Crusaders in 2022. Bogado has signed a two-year deal and will join the team early in the new year.”

Bogado said: “I’m extremely excited to be joining the Highlanders. To have the opportunity to play Super Rugby in New Zealand and to represent such a prestigious team is a dream for me. The move to New Zealand represents a fantastic challenge, and one I had to accept.

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“New Zealand’s rugby culture and the New Zealand culture in general is something I greatly admire and I’m sure that this experience will help me to grow on and off the field. I want to continue improving as a player and become the very best I can be. I have no doubt the Highlanders is the perfect place to achieve this.”

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Highlanders head coach Clarke Dermody added: “We were looking for someone to complement our current group of outside backs and Martin fits the bill perfectly. His physical attributes and ability to compete in the air will be of benefit to us.

“He is very keen to come out and try a new environment and to further his game. He is clearly talented having already picked up a few games for an Argentinian XV and we believe he is an exciting prospect for us and the future.”

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