Mario Ledesma

2011-09-16 15:23
Mario Ledesma (Getty Images)

Full name: Mario Ezequiel Ledesma Arocena
Date of birth: May 17, 1973
Place of birth: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight: 110 kg (17 st 5 lb)
Position: Hooker
Club: Clermont Auvergne

Although Mario Ledesma is neither the captain nor the vice-captain of the Argentina rugby team, he plays an important leadership role in the squad.

Ledesma is the oldest and highest capped player in the Pumas team, and his experience and knowledge of Test and World Cup rugby is invaluable to the side.

This battle-hardened hooker started the 2011 Rugby World Cup with 79 caps and is appearing at rugby’s largest tournament for the fourth time in his career.

The 38-year-old started his journey to the top of professional rugby at the Buenos Aires provincial rugby team in Argentina as a youngster, and improved steadily until his performances were noticed by the national team.

Ledesma made his Argentina debut in 1996, against the team’s South American rivals Uruguay, and he has never looked back.

His eye-catching performances for the national side earned him a French club RC Narbonne in 2001 and in 2003 he moved to Castres, a larger French side which currently plays in the Top 14.

In 2005 Ledesma moved up the ladder again when French giants Clermont Auvergne and he has been at the club ever since.

Ledesma does not score many points and is the least flashy player in the Argentina team, but he is highly valued because of his impressive work rate and set-piece skills.

The hooker has captained Argentina in the past, but his style of play and personality mean he is more suited to leading with his actions.

At 38, this will certainly be Ledesma’s last World Cup and the Pumas veteran will be hoping he can help his team to improve on or match their excellent display at the last tournament in 2007.


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