Argentina trained in the heavy rain in Burton on a tennis synthetic grass cover at the St George’s Park complex. Los Pumas worked on individual skills as well as tactics ahead of their final Rugby World Cup Pool C match against Namibia. Centre Juan Pablo Socino, who has not played a match yet, is ready for the Welwitschias nonetheless, saying: ‘The truth is that it is a dream to be here. For me it is a great joy and I try to enjoy every day. It’s hard not to be playing, but I cannot complain. Being part of this squad in this situation, it is incredible, and I try to perform well in every practice because it serves me well to do so but it is also for the good of the team. Hopefully this weekend I can play my first match.’
Socino says the Argentines will not be fooled into taking the Namibians for granted: ‘Namibia on paper might be the weakest opponent but we must take it seriously because it is expected of us to be the team that dominates and we must prove it on the field. The focus is on us. We keep trying to do the things we are asked to by our coaches and we must improve things we did in previous games. After this match the quarter-finals are coming and there is no margin for error.’
The South Americans are expected to see off the southern Africans and finish second in the group where they will face the winner between Ireland and France in the quarter-finals.
Photo credit: Rodrigo Vergara – UAR