Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

Los Pumas announce Felipe Contepomi as new head coach

By Ned Lester
Felipe Contepomi looks on as Los Pumas warm up. Photo by Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty Images

Puma Number 585 is taking charge of his former team in 2024, with Argentina unveiling Felipe Contepomi as their next head coach on Monday evening.


The former Los Pumas captain made his professional head coaching debut in 2015 with the Argentina XV, before taking assistant roles with the Jaguares, Leinster and most recently, Los Pumas.

As an assistant under the departing Michael Cheika, Contepomi helped guide Argentina to a fourth-place finish at the Rugby World Cup and inherits a squad with many hugely promising young talents.

The dynamic form of his burgeoning stars will likely see new opportunity when the former playmaker and attack guru takes the helm.

Contepomi noted the experience of the recent World Cup, in addition to the four World Cups the 46-year-old played in during his 15-year international career, as inspiration for the next era of Los Pumas rugby.

“I had the honour of assisting Michael Cheika in the implementation of a sporting project that challenged and excited us as part of a great Argentine rugby team,” Contepomi said of his appointment.

“For this reason, I accept the opportunity bestowed on me by the UAR (Argentine Rugby Union) to continue working towards the desired goal, the 2027 World Cup in Australia.”

The announcement comes as something of a surprise given it was previously reported that Contepomi’s predecessor, Michael Cheika, was likely to stay in the role.

Cheika’s status remains a mystery at this point. Just weeks ago Argentine Rugby Union president Gabriel Travaglini revealed to Ole Rugby that both parties were interested in extending Cheika’s contract.

“We proposed to Cheika that he train until the end of the World Cup and organise the staff,” he said.


“He complied with that and intends to stay, so now we are analysing it. We are making the best effort to have the best structure to face the next World Cup.”

At that point in time, it was considered to be “just a matter of numbers” that stood between Cheika and a new deal being signed.

Upon announcing Cheika’s successor, Travaglini said: “Personally, and on behalf of the entire Argentine Rugby Union, I want to thank Michael Cheika for this path that we traveled together. His professionalism, passion and dedication to Argentine rugby is something we will remember forever.

“Today we are convinced that Felipe (Contepomi) is the right person for this new road to Australia 2027. Welcome Felipe, we wish you the best and we accompany you in this great challenge that is to be the coach of Los Pumas”


Join free



Trending on RugbyPass


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

5 Go to comments
FEATURE Murphy Walker: ‘It was the first time I have cried in front of the boys’ Murphy Walker: ‘It was the first time I have cried in front of the boys’