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Argentina head coach stepping down

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Argentina head coach to step down

Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade has announced he will step down after next weekend’s match against Scotland – their last of the June international window.

Hourcade has led his side to victory just three times in their last 22 matches. Those wins came against Georgia, Italy and Japan.

Argentina limped to a 0-2 series defeat against Wales after going down 30-12 in Santa Fe on Saturday.

Hourcade confirmed his impending resignation at the post-match press conference.

“I think that the team did not show answers. The responsibility is absolutely mine, I assume it entirely,” Hourcade said.

“The message is no longer getting through and we feel that clearly this is a completed cycle. We talked previously with the UAR and agreed that the [June] window was decisive.

“We did everything possible and there are not responses from the team. The responsibility is entirely mine”.

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Hourcade has led Argentina since October 2013 after replacing Santiago Phelan, who stood down after consecutive winless Rugby Championship campaigns.

Under Hourcade the Pumas achieved plenty of firsts, including their first away win against Italy in November 2013. They suffered through a winless home schedule in June 2014 but later defeated Australia in Mendoza and France in Paris.

In 2015 Hourcade led his side to their first ever win over South Africa. He then coached the team to the semi-finals of the 2015 Rugby World Cup where they knocked off Georgia, Tonga, and Namibia in pool play and claimed the scalp of Ireland in the quarterfinals.

In 2016 Argentina defeated South Africa in Salta and both Italy and France.

Argentina will have to find a new head coach before the Rugby Championship in August.

Jaguares head coach Mario Ledesma will likely be a favourite for the position. The former Test hooker has led the Argentinian Super Rugby side to six straight victories and a potential playoff berth.

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Argentina head coach to step down