23 Jun 2012

Contepomi all but out of Pumas squad for Rugby Championship

12:57 pm on 23 June 2012

European rugby appears to have dealt its first blow to the Rugby Championship with Argentina captain Felipe Contepomi revealing he'll have to put club before country.

In a huge blow to the Puma's chances in the expanded tri-nations Argentina's best player has told reporters in his home country that he's almost certainly a non-starter for the Pumas' debut season in the southern hemisphere competition.

The 34-year-old utility back starred at centre last weekend as Argentina defeated France 23-20 in the first Test in Cordoba, a result that left the tourists without a win in Argentina for 13 years.

Argentina take on New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in the Rugby Championship, with the Springboks first up for the Pumas in Durban on August the 18th.

By that time, however, Contepomi is expected to be back on club duty in France with his Paris employers.

The Argentine federation has an agreement with the European clubs - those that play in the June internationals won't take part in the new championship.