2012 France rugby union tour of Argentina

In June 2012, France toured Argentina to play two Tests against the Pumas. The French tour was one in a series of tours by northern teams to be hosted by southern hemisphere nations.

2012 France rugby union tour of Argentina
Coach(es)Philippe Saint-André
Tour captain(s)Pascal Papé
Top point scorer(s)Frédéric Michalak (38)
Top try scorer(s)Yoann Huget (2)
Geoffrey Doumayrou (2)
Top test point scorer(s)Frédéric Michalak (19)
Top test try scorer(s)Yoann Huget (2)
03 02 00 01
Test match
02 01 00 01
1 1 0 1
Tour chronology
Previous tourSouth Africa & Argentina 2010
Next tourNew Zealand 2013

The previous French tour of Argentina took place in 2010 as part of a global Two Test tour of South Africa and Argentina, where France lost to both nations. France's last winning tour of Argentina dated back to 1998 when the touring side claimed victory in both Tests. Since then France had an overall losing record against Argentina with 5 wins (4 at home and 1 in Ireland in the 1999 Rugby World Cup) and 7 losses (3 at home including two in the 2007 Rugby World Cup and 4 in Argentina).

No mid-week fixture had been planned for this tour, however most of the French squad, styled for the occasion as the "XV du Président", played a warm-up fixture against a team hand-picked by Serge Betsen, a former France international, for his jubilee.[1]

The series was drawn 1-1, Argentina winning the first test and France the second.[2]

Argentina and France's next encounter took place on 17 November 2012 on French soil as part of the 2012 end of year tests. France claimed another victory (39-22) against their old foes.


Argentina experienced a strong start in the 2011 Rugby World Cup with a rather successful pool stage, finishing runners-up to England with three wins (over Georgia, Romania and Scotland) and a narrow loss to England (9-13). However, the Pumas were unable to capitalise on it when they met future World Champions the All Blacks in the quarter-finals, losing 33-10.

France, on the other hand, experienced a rather slow start in the competition with two wins (over Japan and Canada) and two losses (to New Zealand and Tonga), finishing runners-up to New Zealand on the virtue of a greater tally of bonus points than Tonga (who also finished with two wins and two losses). However, France produced a stronger showing in the knock-out stages, beating England in the quarter-finals (19-12), Wales in the semi-finals (9-8) and losing with the narrowest of margins to New Zealand in the final (8-7).

Due to the World Cup neither team played any Test in the 2011 end of year tests. On 2 January 2012 France was ranked 3rd in the IRB World Rankings while Argentina stood in the 7th place.

France experienced a disappointing 2012 Six Nations Championship with two wins (over Italy and Scotland), two losses (to England and Wales) and a draw (with Ireland), finishing 4th overall.

As a result on 2 April France had dropped to the 6th place in the IRB Rankings while Argentina remained on the 7th spot.

As part of Italy's Summer Tour of Americas and prior to the arrival of the French team, Argentina played a Test against Italy on Saturday 9 June in San Juan. Argentina won the game 37-22.[3]

Before the first test between France and Argentina they remained respectively on the 6th and 7th spot in the IRB Rankings.

Warm-up fixtureEdit

6 June 2012
20:15 CET (UTC+2)
Serge Betsen's XV14 - 54XV du Président
Try: Traille
Con: Mehrtens (2)
Report[4]Try: Huget
Doumayrou (2)
Con: Michalak (7)
Parc des sports d'Aguilera, Biarritz
Referee: TBC (France)
Serge Betsen's XV
FB 15   Pepito Elhorga
RW 14   Dave Vainqueur
OC 13   Romain Cabannes
IC 12   Damien Traille
LW 11   Jean-Baptiste Gobelet
FH 10   Andrew Mehrtens
SH 9   Byron Kelleher
N8 8   Chris Masoe
OF 7   Jean Monribot
BF 6   Serge Betsen (c)
RL 5   Gambo Adamou
LL 4   Kirill Kulemin
TP 3   Tim Payne
HK 2   Benoît August
LP 1   Benoît Lecouls
HK 16   Benjamin Noirot
PR 17   Jérémy Castex
PR 18   Fabien Barcella
LK 19   Bernard N'Nomo
FL 20   Oscar Limani
UB 21   Benjamin Dambielle
UB 22   Paul Warwick
UB 23   Julien Laharrague
WG 24   Marvin O'Connor
  David Ellis
XV du Président
FB 15 Brice Dulin
RW 14 Yoann Huget
OC 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou
IC 12 Maxime Mermoz
LW 11 Benjamin Fall
FH 10 Frédéric Michalak
SH 9 Maxime Machenaud
N8 8 Raphaël Lakafia
OF 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo
BF 6 Wenceslas Lauret
RL 5 Romain Taofifenua
LL 4 Pascal Papé (c)
TP 3 David Attoub
HK 2 Dimitri Szarzewski
LP 1 Yvan Watremez
HK 16 Arnaud Héguy
PR 17 Antoine Guillamon
PR 18 Yannick Forestier
LK 19 Alexandre Flanquart
N8 20 Damien Chouly
SH 21 Florian Cazenave
FH 22 François Trinh-Duc
CE 23 Henry Chavancy
WG 24 Romain Martial
  Philippe Saint-André

Touch judges:
Television match official:

Test MatchesEdit

First TestEdit

16 June 2012
18:10 ART (UTC-03)
Argentina  23–20  France
Try: Agulla 4' c
Montero 76' c
Con: Contepomi (2/2) 5', 77'
Pen: Contepomi (3/6) 24', 39', 56'
Report[5]Try: Picamoles 26' m
Con: Parra (0/1)
Pen: Parra (4/5) 3', 10', 22', 43'
Trinh-Duc (1/1) 52'
Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes, Córdoba
Attendance: 20,000 [6]
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Second TestEdit

23 June 2012
18:10 ART (UTC-03)
Argentina  10–49  France
Try: Vega 74' c
Con: Contepomi 1/1 74'
Pen: Contepomi 1/1 25'
ReportTry: Fall 11' c
Huget (2) 33' c, 62' m
Machenaud 39' c
Mermoz 55' c
Con: Michalak 5/6 12', 33', 40', 56', 68'
Pen: Michalak 3/3 17', 27', 30'
Estadio José Fierro, Tucumán
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Touring squadEdit

Philippe Saint-André announced his 28-man France squad for the June tour to Argentina. Several key faces were rested, including captain Thierry Dusautoir.[7]

  • Caps updated before the June tour. Ages are as of the first Test on 16 June.

Head coach: Philippe Saint-André

Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.

Player Position Date of birth (age) Caps Club/province
Dimitri Szarzewski Hooker (1983-01-26)26 January 1983 (aged 29) 61   Stade Français
Christopher Tolofua Hooker (1993-12-31)31 December 1993 (aged 18) 0   Toulouse
David Attoub Prop (1981-06-07)7 June 1981 (aged 31) 2   Stade Français
Vincent Debaty Prop (1981-10-02)2 October 1981 (aged 30) 6   Clermont
Thomas Domingo* Prop (1985-08-20)20 August 1985 (aged 26) 17   Clermont
Antoine Guillamon Prop (1991-06-04)4 June 1991 (aged 21) 0**   Lyon
Yvan Watremez* Prop (1989-04-21)21 April 1989 (aged 23) 0   Biarritz
Yoann Maestri Lock (1988-01-14)14 January 1988 (aged 24) 5   Toulouse
Pascal Papé (c) Lock (1980-10-05)5 October 1980 (aged 31) 40   Stade Français
Christophe Samson Lock (1984-03-01)1 March 1984 (aged 28) 0   Toulon
Romain Taofifenua Lock (1990-09-14)14 September 1990 (aged 21) 0   Perpignan
Alexandre Lapandry Flanker (1989-04-13)13 April 1989 (aged 23) 6   Clermont
Wenceslas Lauret Flanker (1989-03-28)28 March 1989 (aged 23) 1   Biarritz
Fulgence Ouedraogo Flanker (1986-07-21)21 July 1986 (aged 25) 25   Montpellier
Raphaël Lakafia Number 8 (1988-10-28)28 October 1988 (aged 23) 3   Biarritz
Louis Picamoles Number 8 (1986-02-05)5 February 1986 (aged 26) 26   Toulouse
Maxime Machenaud Scrum-half (1988-12-30)30 December 1988 (aged 23) 0   Agen
Morgan Parra Scrum-half (1988-11-15)15 November 1988 (aged 23) 41   Clermont
Frédéric Michalak Fly-half (1982-10-16)16 October 1982 (aged 29) 54   Sharks
François Trinh-Duc Fly-half (1986-11-11)11 November 1986 (aged 25) 40   Montpellier
Geoffrey Doumayrou Centre (1989-09-16)16 September 1989 (aged 22) 0**   Montpellier
Wesley Fofana Centre (1988-01-20)20 January 1988 (aged 24) 5   Clermont
Florian Fritz Centre (1984-01-17)17 January 1984 (aged 28) 20   Toulouse
Maxime Mermoz Centre (1986-07-28)28 July 1986 (aged 25) 17   Perpignan
Benjamin Fall Wing (1989-03-03)3 March 1989 (aged 23) 2   Racing Métro
Yoann Huget Wing (1987-06-02)2 June 1987 (aged 25) 7   Bayonne
Romain Martial Wing (1984-11-13)13 November 1984 (aged 27) 0**   Castres
Jean-Marcellin Buttin Fullback (1991-12-16)16 December 1991 (aged 20) 1   Clermont
Brice Dulin Fullback (1990-04-23)23 April 1990 (aged 22) 0   Agen

Note*: After he sustained an injury in the First Test, Yvan Watremez was replaced in the squad by Thomas Domingo. (Philippe Saint-André originally planned to call up Castres prop Yannick Forestier but the latter was touring Japan with the French Barbarians and no satisfactory travel arrangement could be made, hence prompting the return of Domingo in the French squad after he sustained an important injury prior to the 2011 Rugby World Cup which prevented him from taking part in the competition and playing the major part of the 2011-2012 season with his club.)[8]

Note**: Although they took part in the warm-up fixture, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Antoine Guillamon and Romain Martial failed to appear in any of the Tests, thus remaining uncapped at the end of the Tour.

Coaching and Management TeamEdit

Position Name Nationality
Head coach Philippe Saint-André   France
Forwards Coach Yannick Bru   France
Backs & Defence Coach Patrice Lagisquet   France

Home squadEdit

Argentina's 29-man squad named for the 2012 June Tests against Italy and France. Coach Santiago Phelan decided not to select any player involved in the Top 14 playoffs, reserving his best squad for the upcoming 2012 Rugby Championship.[9] Esteban Lozada was a late addition to the squad after his recovery from injury.[10]

Head coach: Santiago Phelan

  • Caps updated before tour. Ages are as of the first Test on 16 June.

Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.

Player Position Date of birth (age) Caps Club/province
Andrés Bordoy Hooker (1982-12-30)30 December 1982 (aged 29) 3   Pau
Eusebio Guiñazú Hooker (1982-01-15)15 January 1982 (aged 30) 8   Biarritz
Francisco Gómez Kodela Prop (1985-07-03)3 July 1985 (aged 26) 3   Biarritz
Pablo Henn Prop (1982-07-15)15 July 1982 (aged 29) 2   Brive
Bruno Postiglioni Prop (1987-04-08)8 April 1987 (aged 25) 0   La Plata
Rodrigo Roncero Prop (1977-02-16)16 February 1977 (aged 35) 44   Stade Français
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro Prop (1989-06-11)11 June 1989 (aged 23) 3   Stade Français
Rodrigo Bruno Lock (1987-05-15)15 May 1987 (aged 25) 2   Villa Maria
Santiago Guzmán Lock (1989-01-11)11 January 1989 (aged 23) 5   Tucumán
Esteban Lozada Lock (1982-01-08)8 January 1982 (aged 30) 17   Edinburgh
Benjamin Macome Lock (1986-01-10)10 January 1986 (aged 26) 3   Tucumán
Rodrigo Báez Flanker (1989-02-08)8 February 1989 (aged 23) 0   Liceo
Tomás de la Vega Flanker (1990-09-28)28 September 1990 (aged 21) 3   CUBA
Julio Farías Cabello Flanker (1978-09-19)19 September 1978 (aged 33) 8   Tucumán
Genaro Fessia Flanker (1981-07-22)22 July 1981 (aged 30) 11   Córdoba
Tomás Cristian Leonardi Number 8 (1987-07-01)1 July 1987 (aged 24) 6   SIC
Leonardo Senatore Number 8 (1984-05-13)13 May 1984 (aged 28) 3   Toulon
Tomás Cubelli Scrum-half (1989-06-12)12 June 1989 (aged 23) 0   Belgrano
Martín Landajo Scrum-half (1988-06-14)14 June 1988 (aged 24) 6   CASI
Felipe Contepomi (c) Fly-half (1977-08-20)20 August 1977 (aged 34) 65   Stade Français
Ignacio Mieres Fly-half (1987-04-06)6 April 1987 (aged 25) 0   Exeter Chiefs
Gabriel Ascarate Centre (1987-08-20)20 August 1987 (aged 24) 3   Natación
Matias Orlando Centre (1991-11-14)14 November 1991 (aged 20) 0*   Huirapuca
Benjamín Urdapilleta Centre (1986-03-11)11 March 1986 (aged 26) 2   Harlequins
Belisario Agulla Wing (1988-05-23)23 May 1988 (aged 24) 5   Agen
Facundo Barrea Wing (1989-03-10)10 March 1989 (aged 23) 0   Córdoba
Agustín Gosio Wing (1983-03-17)17 March 1983 (aged 29) 2   London Scottish
Manuel Montero Wing (1991-11-20)20 November 1991 (aged 20) 0   Pucara
Roman Miralles Fullback (1983-08-01)1 August 1983 (aged 28) 4   Duendes
Joaquín Tuculet Fullback (1989-08-01)1 August 1989 (aged 22) 0   Sale Sharks

Note*: Matias Orlando failed to appear in any of the Tests against both Italy and France, thus remaining uncapped at the end of the Tour.

Coaching and Management TeamEdit

Position Name Nationality
Head coach Santiago Phelan   Argentina
Assistant coach Fabián Turnes   Argentina
Backs Coach Martín Gaitán   Argentina
Forwards and Scrum Coach Mauricio Reggiardo   Argentina


On 25 June 2012 (after all mid-year Tests had been played) France stood at the 5th place (their best ranking since March 2012) in the IRB Rankings (thanks to their second test comprehensive victory over the Pumas and Wales' loss to Australia in their third test) while Argentina had dropped to the 8th spot (their worst ranking since March 2012).

From August to October 2012, Argentina competed in the inaugural Rugby Championship (the new incarnation of the Tri Nations Series) with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, finishing bottom of the table with a draw (at home against the Springboks) and five losses. On 8 October 2012 France and Argentina remained respectively at the 5th and 8th places of the IRB World ranking.

As part of the 2012 end of year tests the Pumas toured Wales, France and Ireland, playing one Test against each union.[11] They beat the Welsh but lost to the two other unions while France recorded three straight wins (against Australia, Argentina and Samoa). At the end of their Tests France had climbed to the IRB rankings 4th place, their best ranking since February 2012, while Argentina had dropped to the 9th place, their worst ranking since September 2011. However following the fourth week of Tests (of which Argentina and France were not part) Argentina climbed back to the 8th place thanks to Wales' defeat by Australia over the weekend.

As a result on December 3 for the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool Draw France was drawn in Pot 1 while Argentina was drawn in Pot 2 and they ended up in Pool D and C respectively, meaning they will not meet before the Quarter Finals.

From February to March 2013, France competed in the Six Nations Championship (the 14th series following this format) with England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy and Wales, finishing bottom of the table with one win (at home against Scotland), a draw (in Ireland) and three losses (at home to Wales, in England and Italy). On 18 March 2013 France has dropped to the 6th place in the IRB rankings while Argentina remained on the 8th place.

As part of the 2013 mid-year tests, France will tour New Zealand in a Three-Test Series[12] while Argentina will host England in a Two-Test Series and Georgia for a one-off Test.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Betsen : Offrir ce que j'ai reçu rugbyrama.fr
  2. ^ "Pumas close off June with Les Bleus le response!". www.sanzarrugby.com. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  3. ^ Pumas humble Italy Archived 2012-06-13 at the Wayback Machine planetrugby.com
  4. ^ "Les "Bleus" se baladent". rugbyrama.fr. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Planet Rugby | Rugby Union Tournaments | International Friendlies | F…". Archived from the original on 31 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Los Pumas vencieron en forma agónica a Francia en Córdoba – Infobae.com". Archived from the original on 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  7. ^ "France call up Michalak". Planet Rugby. 31 May 2012. Archived from the original on 4 June 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Watremez forfait, Domingo appelé". Rugbyrama. 17 June 2012.
  9. ^ "Argentina name squad for June tests". Planet Rugby. 25 May 2012. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Argentina ring the changes". Planet Rugby. 13 June 2012. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  11. ^ "Calendario de Los Pumas en 2012" (PDF) (in Spanish). Unión Argentina de Rugby. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  12. ^ "Bleus: Prochaine tournée d'été en Nouvelle-Zélande". Rugbyrama. 24 June 2012.