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Felipe Contepomi 'in pole position' to take charge of Argentina

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Lynne Cameron/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Former Argentina out-half Felipe Contepomi is said to be in “pole position” to take charge of his country’s national team following the resignation of Mario Ledesma. It was February 9 when the ex-hooker, who took over in August 2018, stepped away from his position as head coach.  

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The 48-year-old masterminded the 2020 Rugby Championship win over the All Blacks, the first-ever success for Los Pumas against New Zealand, but his overall record showed just a total of eight victories in 22 matches.

“Taking this decision is difficult, who wants to step way from all this? Nobody,” Ledesma told reporters last week when he announced his decision to quit. “But if you put the team first and you are sufficiently humble then that is what you have to do.”

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The exit of Ledesma 19 months out from the start of the 2023 World Cup in France ignited speculation that Stade Francais boss Gonzalo Quesada, who led the Jaguares to the 2019 Super Rugby final, was the prime candidate to fill the vacancy. 

However, he is contracted as Stade boss until June 2023, opening the door for Contepopmi to potentially be Ledesma’s successor. 

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Midi Olympique reported: “Who will be Argentina’s next coach? Following the announcement of Mario Ledesma to leave his position with the Pumas, several names come up insistently, such as that of the manager of Stade Francais, Gonzalo Quesada, or that of a former player from the capital, Felipe Contepomi.

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“Since last Wednesday and the announcement of Mario Ledesma’s departure from his position as coach, all Argentine rugby followers have been asking themselves the same question: who will be the future coach of the Pumas? 

“According to the latest information from Buenos Aires, Felipe Contepomi would be in pole position to take over the reins of the selection. The former fly-half is currently an assistant coach at Leinster, in charge of their backs since 2018.

“The manager of Stade Francais, Gonzalo Quesada, another glorious former national team out-half, is a legitimate contender. But the technician, hired until June 2023, would not be inclined to leave the capital before the end of his contract.”

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