13 Nov Brumbies finalise deal with Argentine scrumhalf Tomás Cubelli
The Aquis Brumbies are very pleased to announce Argentine scrumhalf Tomás Cubelli will be joining the Canberra based Super Rugby team on a two-year deal.
Cubelli is a member of the Argentine National Team and has been a standout player for Los Pumas this year including a number of strong performances in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Cubelli has 45 test caps for his country, the most recent being the third-place playoff at the RWC against South Africa, in which he started at scrumhalf for Los Pumas.
Brumbies CEO Michael Jones said Cubelli was presented a number of options after a very successful international season, including the new Argentinian Super Rugby side which will boast 21 of their RWC semi-final squad, and was very happy to have secured the international star.
“We are extremely fortunate to have secured Tomás for the next two seasons,” Jones said.
“We started our discussions with Tomás and the Argentine national body early in the year and whilst it has been a very long process, we feel our perseverance has well and truly paid off.
“The Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) have been fantastic throughout the entire period. Obviously Tomás is a very valuable property for them but they have taken a very mature and strategic view that, as one of their key players for the future, he would really benefit from being part of the renowned Brumbies program and playing alongside so many Wallabies and under Wallaby attack coach Stephen Larkham.
“The UAR fully support the development of their elite players and we have seen that their efforts over the past few years are really bearing dividends with a great RWC campaign. Securing Tomás for the Brumbies is just an extension of this development commitment.”
“One of the UAR concerns was whether Tomás would be available for Los Pumas Test matches and we have assured them that we are keen for him to continue his international career and to play at the top level.
“Tomás is a fantastic reader of the game, he is a great attacking scrumhalf and very physical. He has a great pass and solid kicking game which will really suit our style of play. I really think playing under Stephen Larkham and alongside world-class players such as Christian Lealiifano and Matt Toomua, Tomás will really come into his own. He has always had a desire to learn and grow as a player and we think we can help him do that here at the Brumbies.” Jones said.
“Tomás brings something new, not only to the Brumbies but to the whole competition.
“Super Rugby has established itself over 20 years as the premier rugby competition in the world and the dominance for the Southern Hemisphere nations confirms this. The innovation and the fluidity of players moving between clubs provides great quality rugby and the interest in Rugby is growing every year. It is fantastic to see players from different nations lining up to play Super Rugby.”
Brumbies Head Coach Stephen Larkham has been heavily involved in the recruitment of Tomás, meeting him in Sydney prior the commencement of The Rugby Championship.
“We’ve seen through his performances in The Rugby Championship and the great form he showed at the Rugby World Cup, particularly against the All Blacks, Tomás has the necessary skills and knowledge of the game to successfully fit into our structure, and be a game-breaker in Super Rugby,” Larkham said.
A UAR Spokesperson says Cubelli has the blessing of Argentina’s governing body to link with the Brumbies for the next two years.
“We wish Tomás all the best on his move to the Brumbies. Linking with Stephen Larkham and the Brumbies world-class program will allow Tomás to develop his skills in the world’s hardest club competition.
“Tomás has spoken of his desire to still represent Los Pumas while he is signed to the Brumbies and this contract will allow him to do so, which is great news for our national team.
“The entry of an Argentine franchise to Super Rugby will allow our sport and our players to continue to develop, underpinned by participation in this great tournament which is something that fills us with joy and pride.
“Tomás is an Argentine player who has developed from grassroots to the professional game. Entry to Super Rugby will give our top players, like Tomás, an incredible opportunity to grow and our fans the chance to enjoy watching our elite players going up against the best players in the world.”
Rugby was a fundamental part of Tomás’s childhood and adolescence, despite growing up in soccer-mad Buenos Aires. His father Alejandro was a member of Los Pumas– Argentina’s national team – and won 17 caps for his country as a hooker between 1977 and 1990.
That being the case, there was never any way Tomás, and his older brother Francisco, could avoid it.
“I started playing when I was five,” Cubelli said.
“Rugby is a tradition in our family. Without a doubt it is a very important sport for us.”
In 2009 Tomás made his debut for Belgrano Athletic Club, in the UAR. He debuted for then Argentine national team, Los Pumas, in 2010.
Cubelli played for Argentina’s championship winning Pampas XV in South Africa’s Vodacom Cup in 2011. He also appeared in the Pampas XV side that won the 2014 and 2015 World Rugby Pacific Challenge.
In 2014 Cubelli made two appearances for the Barbarians against England and Australia.
The 26-year old joins a list of Argentine players to sign with Australian Super Rugby franchises. In 1996 the Brumbies signed their first Argentine international, Patricio Noriega, who earned 53 Super Rugby caps for the side.
With an Argentine franchise joining Super Rugby in 2016, Cubelli will get a chance to face off against many of his Los Pumas teammates.
He told reporters at the RWC that Argentina has provided the perfect learning platform for many young players who are poised to play Super Rugby next season.
“It maybe comes with the way we are educated in our clubs in Argentina,” Cubelli said.
“Rugby in Argentina is amateur, first of all in most of the clubs you are educated as a good person, a good teammate and afterwards as a good player,” Cubelli said.
|Place of birth||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|2009 -2015||Belgrano Athletic Club (Argentina)||32||85|
|2011-2014||Pampas XV (Vodacom Cup RSA, World Rugby Pacific Challenge)||22||30|
|2010-2012||Argentina Jaguars (Argentina A)||6||5|
|2010-||Argentina (Los Pumas)||45||50|