Pichot talks down 'great' status
July 19, 2008

Following Argentine Agustin Pichot's retirement from international rugby announcement, the scrum-half has played down talk that he should be considered one of all-time great No.9s of world rugby.

Known throughout the rugby world simply as 'Gus', Pichot made his international debut in 1995 against Australia in Brisbane, and played his last international in the third place play-off against France at the 2007 RWC.

Pichot played 63 Tests for the Pumas in a brilliant career that culminated in leading his country to third place in the 2007 World Cup.

His club career took in stints playing in England and in France, and he also holds the distinction of being the Argentina player most selected for the Barbarians.

Upon hanging his Test match boots up, Pichot spoke to Total Rugby's South American correspondent Frankie Deges in Buenos Aires.

"I didn't want to close the door immediately after the World Cup because I thought that I had to take some time to digest what I really needed and what I was feeling at that time."

"The intensity that I gave and the time that I spent in the function of the team didn't allow me to take that decision immediately, I needed to rest, I needed to be in touch with my inner thoughts and that's what I've done in these six, seven months."

As for his status as one of the all-time greats in his position, Pichot was typically modest. "I never believed it when they said that I was one of the best scrum halves in the world.

"I was compared at that time with Joost (van der Westhuizen), with George (Gregan), with Justin (Marshall) or then the new Springbok scrum half (Fourie du Preez) and the other ones coming through."

"Being named into those top one or two, when you were playing with a team that wasn't being recognised, that was something that I really had to work a lot for, and trying then to be one of the best in the world as a team, not as an individual."

Fine sentiments indeed from a player that always gave his all for his country, and a player that will be sorely missed on the big stage.

© Scrum.com

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