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Ken Borland


French rugby might not have seen the last of Hernandez

Posted on September 01, 2014 by Ken

French rugby might not have seen the last of Argentine backline star Juan Martin Hernandez, with the 31-year-old confirming this week that he will consider returning to European rugby in 2015.

Hernandez left Racing Metro last month despite still having 11 months remaining on his contract, to head back to Argentina to concentrate on Test duty and their looming entry into SuperRugby.

But their participation in SuperRugby only starts in 2016, so Hernandez will obviously have to find a stop-gap club for 2015.

The presence of Ireland and British Lions flyhalf Jonathan Sexton and the arrival of Springbok Johan Goosen may also have prompted Hernandez’s decision.

“I’m only without a club for the Rugby Championship and the Tests in November and then we will see what happens. 2015 is a new year,” Hernandez said rather cryptically last week.

Hernandez, like so many other Argentinians, came to France to develop his game and he said his time at Racing Metro had done much for his career.

“You try to reach a very good level as a rugby player and the standard is more high in France than in Argentina. It was a big step coming to France but 90% of the players in Argentina develop their game in Europe.

“Racing Metro were a very good, strong team and when I joined them they had just gone into the first division. So I was around for the construction of the team. It was my decision to go, but I think Racing Metro will have a great season to come and maybe they will be European and Top 14 champions,” Hernandez said.

The gifted utility back has played a measly 44 Tests in 10 years and the injury curse that has so afflicted his career struck again this weekend when he withdrew from the Test against the Springboks in Pretoria with a groin injury. Some Argentinian journalists at Loftus Versfeld called Hernandez’s injury problems more mental than physical.

The smart money at the moment is on El Mago joining his former club, Stade Francais, because Hugo Bonneval, a player they relied on heavily at fullback last season, is on the injured list.

 

 

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