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Ledesma steps down as Contepomi is tipped for top job

Ledesma steps down as Contepomi is tipped for top job

Mario Ledesma

Mario Ledesma has stepped down as the Argentina coach with Felipe Contepomi being tipped to succeed him at the head of Los Pumas.

Having been in charge of the team since 2018, Ledesma decided that the time was right to step away, with Argentina having won three of their 12 matches in 2021.

The highlight came when Ledesma oversaw Argentina’s first-ever victory over the All Blacks, in 2020, but after a difficult 12 months, Ledesma believes that it is the best course of action for the team.

“Taking this decision is difficult, who wants step way from all this? Nobody,” Ledesma told reporters. “But if you put the team first and you are sufficiently humble then that’s what you have to do.

“We’ve always seen a progression and an improvement and we didn’t see that last year.

“Now is the time to be thankful, to see what we managed to do. Obviously, mistakes were made along the way and there were things that could have been done better but it is time for a new cycle.”

It has not been easy for Argentina, who have not played a home match since before the Covid-19 pandemic, although they will do so again in 2022.

In the Autumn Nations Series, Los Pumas lost to France and Ireland, either side of a win away to Italy.

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Ledesma’s replacement has not yet been announced, with former skipper Contepomi a strong contender according to reports in Argentina.

He is currently on the coaching staff at Leinster, but could now return to his homeland to lead the side.


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