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London Irish Features
Leguizamon penetrates the French defence
Leguizamon ready for World Cup action
London Irish's Argentine No.8 Juan Leguizamon speaks to BBC Berkshire about playing for his country at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Argentina face primary hosts France in the tournament's opening match on Friday 7 September.
Read Graham McKechnie's exclusive interview with Juan Leguizamon below.
Firstly Juan, congratulations on making the team to play France.
I am of course very happy and proud to be in the fifteen for Friday. It's going to be one of the biggest games for me and for Argentina.
I'm just hoping to have a good game against France. They're playing very, very well and we'll have to be clever, but we can do some very good things against them.
In 1999 they reached the quarter finals but in 2003 it wasn't quite so good. How important is this World Cup for rugby in Argentina?
I think this World Cup is going to be the most important for Argentina. The team has played very well for the last few years and people are very excited.
We've been working hard and are hoping to get to the quarter finals again to help the game in Argentina.
In 1999, what the Pumas did then helped rugby in Argentina so much. We want to do the same.
How much interest will there be in the World Cup back in Argentina?
I've been talking to my parents, my friends and my girlfriend back home and they told me the people are very, very crazy about the World Cup.
Rugby is getting very popular so it's very important we do well. People do want to see it and watch it on television and to see us beat France.
How far can Argentina go in the World Cup?
We think that the most important game is the next one. The next one is France, so we just keep thinking about that one.
We can't be thinking about the quarter-finals or the semi-finals. In our minds it's only France. We're only focused on Friday's game.
We have some other tough games too. Georgia, Namibia and Ireland. If we play well, we can go through, but we have to think about France first.
A word about Gonzalo Tiesi, your London Irish team-mate. Is he fit?
Yes, he's fit now, but he's out of the team for this game, just to look after him. I think he'll be OK for the next game against Georgia.
Juan Manuel Leguizamon
He's looking very fit and very strong so I think he'll play.
How much of an honour is it for Argentina to be playing this opening match against France?
We're very proud of that. We're very happy to be playing in the first game of the tournament. It's a very, very big thing for us.
And the thing is that if we look at the tapes, we can beat them if we play well. That's the most important thing. If we play well, we can have our best game ever.
Finally, a message to London Irish supporters back here watching the World Cup. Who should they be supporting?
When we play Ireland, Gonzalo and I want them to be supporting us not Ireland!
But all the best to them and I'm looking forward to being back with Irish soon.
last updated: 06/09/07