The reason Julian Montoya has ‘faith’ in his Pumas for England date
Argentina skipper Julian Montoya has spoken about what is giving him great confidence about his team ahead of their Rugby World Cup campaign which opens with the heavyweight Pool D fixture versus England next Saturday in Marseille.
Fresh from finishing off their warm-up match preparations with a comfortable August 26 win over Spain in Madrid, Argentina are currently hunkered down at their La Baule-Escoublac base camp in Pays de la Loire ahead of their trip south to Marseille on Thursday.
At their arrival media briefing, Montoya, who plays his club rugby at Leicester in England, expressed his delight that the tournament was about to start with Argentina very optimistic about their chances of doing well.
“What do I expect from the team? What we have been doing since we started: train hard, enjoy living this experience and support each other. That we are authentic, that we express ourselves as we are, with the good and the bad. That we are together,” he said.
“We know that there will be very good moments and others that may not be so good, but we have to be prepared for all of that, which is what we have been doing since we started this road to Rugby World Cup.
“I have faith in the team and the tightness of the group. We are all on the same page, players and staff, and we trust the process we are doing.”
It was 2007 – when the World Cup was last staged in France – that Argentina lit up the tournament with their third-place finish. A vast support followed them around the country 16 years ago and Montoya is thankful a similar size of support is expected in the coming weeks.
“I want to thank all the people who I know will come to see us at the games and those who will follow us on television from Argentina,” he said.
“We as a team always talk about sharing the jersey – we have the privilege of putting on the shirt and being here, but we represent an entire country.”
Coach Michael Cheika, who was in charge of the Australian team beaten by England in the 2019 quarter-finals, added: “There was a lot of preparation, not only the weeks in Portugal but also for the work done in Argentina. All our players are ready for the first game.
“I have experience in World Cups, both XVs and rugby league, and I want to share that experience with my squad. We are only thinking about ourselves. I say it with being respectful: everything happening outside is a distraction for us.”
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