Ledesma hopes Sydney stint puts Pumas in top condition

2019-09-05 08:24
Mario Ledesma
Mario Ledesma (Gallo Images)

Sydney - Argentina coach Mario Ledesma is hoping their stopover in Sydney will help acclimatise his squad and overcome jetlag, leaving the Pumas in prime condition to tackle the World Cup.

Facing a tough Pool C schedule against France, Tonga, England and USA, Argentina have based themselves in Australia for the past week on the way to Japan and will face club side Randwick in a final warm-up on Saturday.

"We wanted to cut in half the trip over there and jetlag -- we'll get rid of the jetlag over here and go to Japan almost in the same time zone," Ledesma, who played at four World Cups, told reporters this week.

He had the opportunity to face a Pacific nation in a full Test this weekend, but after a taxing year for Argentina rugby, where the Jaguares reached the Super Rugby final, a lighter routine was chosen.

"Obviously the Jaguares played a lot of footy this year -- that's why we didn't want a very demanding Test," said the former hooker, who was part of the Wallabies staff from 2015 to 2017.

"We had the chance to play against Fiji or Samoa like Australia, but it was more about going through our structures and a game plan more than a physically demanding Test, and we feel very comfortable over here."

Despite this, the Pumas are looking to field a strong team on Saturday, similar to the one that will run out against France in their World Cup opener in Tokyo on September 21.

"The S and Cs(strength and conditioning coaches) are going to make the final call," he said.

"Some guys they're going to play 30, some guys they're going to play 40 or 50 depending on the load they've been having the last couple of months."

Argentina went down 24-18 to an experimental South Africa side in Pretoria in their last Test -- their ninth straight defeat since beating Australia a year ago.

They have played 37 World Cup matches, winning 19 and losing 18, with the best showing a third-place finish at the 2007 tournament hosted by France.

Read more on:    argentina  |  australia  |  rwc 2019  |  mario ledesma  |  rugby


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