Nickname: The Pumas
Captain: Felipe Contepomi
Coaches: Santiago Phelan, Fabián Turnes
RWC Appearances: 6 (First in 1987)
Best result: Third, 2007
Argentina played its first international rugby match in 1910 against a touring British Isles team and is today considered one of the top rugby nations in the world and the best in the Americas by a considerable degree.
Although rugby union is nowhere near as popular as football in Argentina, the Pumas have still competed in every Rugby World Cup and the impressive results they have consistently achieved in the competition since 1999 have seen the sport's popularity grow exponentially.
Argentina has managed, from its appearance in the international arena, to accomplish several upset victories, are tough contenders when playing in Buenos Aires and are fully capable of regularly defeating Six Nations sides.
It was this sort of upset victory against a Six Nations side that helped the team to their best ever finish at the Rugby World Cup.
Argentina defeated hosts France in the first game of the 2007 World Cup - which took them to fourth in the IRB World rankings - and went on to beat every other team in their pool as well as Scotland (19-3) in the quarter-final.
The Pumas were beaten 37-13 by South Africa in the semi-finals, but defeated France for a second time in the tournament to claim third place overall. In March the following year Argentina set a team record when they reached an all time high of third on the IRB rankings.
Of late, they have suffered poorer performances and have slipped to 8th in the overall rankings, possibly due to the fact that they spent 5 months in 2007/2008 looking for a new coach after the-coach Marcelo Loffreda resigned.
The key to their improvement is playing against stronger Southern Hemisphere teams such as South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, and this opportunity will formalise in 2012 when the Pumas will be included in the Tri-Nations for the first time.
The Pumas have set themselves high goals, aiming for the first time to win against the Springboks and the All Blacks at some point in the 2010s, but they have a long way to go.
Forwards: Patricio Albacete, Marcos Iván Ayerza,
Maximiliano Bustos, Alejandro Campos, Manuel Carizza, Agustin Creevy,
Julio Farias Cabello, Juan Figallo, Mariano Galarza, Alvaro Galindo,
Juan Martín Fernandez Lobbe, Mario Ledesma, Juan Manuel Leguizamon,
Rodrigo Roncero, Martín Scelzo, Leonardo Vicente Senatore, Tomas
Backs: Horacio Agulla, Marcelo
Bosch, Gonzalo Camacho, Felipe Contepomi, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino,
Agustin Gosio, Juan José Imhoff, Alfredo Lalanne, Martín Rodriguez,
Federico Nicolás Sanchez, Gonzalo Tiesi, Nicolás Vergallo.
Captain, flyhalf and tactician, Contepomi is widely regarded as a truly exceptional footballer and his club side Toulon are grateful to have his skills.