Loffreda is named new Pumas coach
Buenois Aires
April 5, 2000

After five months of deliberation the Argentine Rugby Union have named Marcelo Loffreda as their new coach.

The former Pumas centre, who played for 13 seasons between 1977 and 1994 received the nomination last night, after ex Pumas coach José Javier Fernández rejected an offer to be the Head Coach of the Argentine National Team.

Loffreda, well known as "Tano" within Argentine rugby circles, has had a very short career in coaching with the San Isidro Club team, but has won two titles in three years.

Fernandez apologised to the National Team Commitee saying that "I have work and personal commitments this year" after 10 days of negotiations with Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) officials. Fernandez, a successfull bussinesman from Buenos Aires, was involved twice with the national team in the past and was not happy to give up his role on either occasion. Rumours speculated that Fernandez had laid down a series of conditons that he wanted if he was to take the job, but the union could not promise him a free hand.

UAR president Luis Gradin said that "the intention is to have Loffreda as coach until the next RWC", but immediately remarked that it "is a very difficult position and we must protect him during his first steps".
The Pumas will have the first international after the 1999 RWC on June 3 againt Ireland in Buenos Aires.

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