Sunday, November 12, 2006

Philip McContempomi

Watching Ireland beat South Africa, scoring four good tries in the process, was a pleasure slightly tempered by the reality that the Springboks were trying out several inexperienced players.

The weekend’s rugby pleasure was enhanced by the Pumas defeat of England at Twickenham and the Italians giving the Wallabies a good scare. However, the slaughter of France by the All Blacks suggests that southern hemisphere rugby is still well ahead of 6-Nations standard. It will be interesting to see how we get on against Australia next week and how England do against South Africa.

After the match, the debate about the 2007 World Cup focused on our lack of strength in depth in certain key positions, most notably at out-half, where David Humphreys has hung up his international boots though he’s currently playing out of his skin for Ulster. The RTE panel seemed fairly confident that he can be lured out of retirement for the World Cup - but at 35 he’s definitely nearing the end of his playing career, with no other obvious international-class out-half identified.

Which brings us back to the Pumas v. England where Felipe Contempomi had an excellent game. He’s been playing for Leinster now for several seasons and, given the failure of the Pumas to secure a slot in either the Tri-Nations or 6-Nations annual competitions, he might be persuaded to declare for Ireland. Just what are the residency/playing rules? I’m sure we can find an Irish grandparent (legitimate or otherwise) and getting him an Irish passport should be a doddle.

Incidentally, how does he spell his surname? If you Google him you get 1240 entries for “ContempoMi” and 967 for “ContempoNi” - so I’ve stuck with the former.

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