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Pumas aim to send Ro-Ro out in style

Aap
Sunday, October 07, 2012

ROSARIO, Argentina - If the task wasn't already tough enough, the patched-up Wallabies will be confronted by a Pumas outfit inspired to "ice the cake" on legendary prop Rodrigo Roncero's career on Saturday (Sunday morning Fiji time).

Argentina cult hero Roncero has confirmed the final-round Rugby Championship clash at Rosario's Estadio Gigante de Arroyito will be his 55th and last Test.

A qualified doctor, the 35-year-old prop nicknamed Ro-Ro signed off from club rugby in June but was coaxed into continuing his international career by coach Santiago Phelan and adviser Graham Henry.

He helped the Pumas split their two-Test home series with France 1-1 and has since been among their best players in a pack which has unsettled all three of the world's best teams - New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

A 230-match veteran for glamour Paris club Stade Francais and a member of the Argentine side which finished third at the 2007 World Cup, Roncero desperately wants one more achievement before hanging up his boots.

"Looking back, my career has been extremely positive," he said.

"Im just missing the icing (on the cake) of beating one of the three powers (New Zealand, South Africa and Australia).

"I played at three World Cups and I managed to play the first Rugby Championship. I wondered whether to retire in the June window ... I was in doubt but I felt great in June and realised how much I'd missed the national team after (last year's) World Cup."

Pumas skipper Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe said the home side would undoubtedly lift against the Wallabies to send Roncero out in style.

"It's an honour to play in the same team as him," Lobbe said. "He gave everything for this jersey for the last 10-12 years.

"He is a legend."

Roncero's new career will be running a travel agency which arranges travel for the national side.





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