Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Hernandez issues rallying cry

Argentina centre Juan Martin Hernandez has urged his side to build on their breakthrough showing in the Rugby Championship by beating Scotland.

The Pumas are riding high after recording their first ever win in the four-team Southern Hemisphere contest.

Their 21-17 win over Australia in Mendoza last month has raised hopes the South Americans can finally become one of the game's global powers.

Now Hernandez has warned his team-mates not to let the strides taken against the Wallabies stumble when they take on Vern Cotter's Scots at Murrayfield on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Toulon back - who will win his 50th cap this weekend - told the Union Argentina de Rugby's official website: "Having played like we did in the Rugby Championship, it gives us a responsibility to keep playing well.

"We do not want to step back in terms of the game. On Saturday we must impose our game and not let Scotland dominate.

"If the weather permits and we can keep the ball, it can be favourable to us, but if they start to fight back we could be in trouble."

A former Top 14 winner and Heineken Cup runner-up with Stade Francais, the man nicknamed 'The Maradona of Rugby' was once considered the world's top full-back.

Although also highly-rated at fly-half, Hernandez has been slotted into Daniel Hourcade's midfield in recent times.

He would have undoubtedly won more than the half century of caps he will celebrate this weekend had it not been for injuries but the former Natal Sharks and Racing Metro playmaker has no plans to hang up his boots just yet.

"I'm not really thinking that the game is my 50th, I think I will only do that once I retire," he said. "Now this next game is important for the team.

"We have some good dynamics behind us following the Rugby Championship and this Saturday we want to continue in the same way."


From Belfast Telegraph