Violero escandinavo busca mercados

PARIS, 4 October - Players with the potential to turn the match for Argentina in Sunday s quarter-final against Scotland at the Stade de France.

Guys in Danger

Argentina have a long, proud tradition of powerfully built props with Rodrigo Roncero the leader of the latest generation of the front row club, a player who works tirelessly away at ruck time, even if his efforts are not always visible to the naked eye.

Predicted to have a bright future in the game from the days when he was playing in the Argentine second division, Roncero now plays his rugby with French champions Stade Français alongside several of the Pumas squad members at RWC 2007.

The 30-year-old, playing in his second world cup, covers every blade of grass during a match and is often on the shoulder of scrum half and captain Agustín Pichot at the breakdown to make the next charge.

Juan Martín Hernández

The new pin-up boy of Argentina rugby has long been earmarked for great things, having been labelled the Argentine Wilkinson while still in his teens.

Hernández, whose sister Maria has won two Olympic medals with Argentina s hockey team, is revelling in the opportunity to play for the Pumas in his preferred position of fly half, rather than the full back jersey he had occupied for the national side before the world cup.

His understanding with scrum half Pichot – borne by their half-back pairing at Stade Français – and Felipe Contepomi at inside centre is key for the Pumas, the ability to interchange during the match keeping the opposing defence on their toes.

With Felipe Contepomi laid low with flu at present, the responsibility for kicking could fall on the shoulders of this shy 25-year-old, but as he showed with his calmly taken drop goals against Ireland, no challenge fazes Hernández.

Horacio Agulla

One of the less familiar members of the Pumas squad on the world stage given he plays his club rugby for Hindú in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, Horacio Agulla has seized the opportunities handed to him at RWC 2007 with both hands.

A few months ago the amateur wing was on the edges of Argentina s extended world cup training squad despite a successful last 18 months on the domestic scene. However, the injury to José María Nuñez Piossek before the tournament left a starting berth up for grabs.

The clever, thinking player with lightning acceleration didn t need asking twice, winning his sixth cap in the opening match against France and intercepting Rémy Martin s pass to start the move that lead to Ignacio Corleto s try in the upset win.

His try against Ireland last weekend proved just as important in helping Argentina finish as Pool D winners and avoid the dreaded quarter-final with New Zealand.