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Mario Ledesma steps down as Argentina’s head coach

Mario Ledesma

Mario Ledesma has stepped down from his position as Argentina’s head coach, describing the decision as a personal one.

The Argentine rugby union held a press conference on Wednesday as Ledesma announced his decision to the public, having first taken up the role in August 2018.

Ledesma’s time as Los Pumas’ head coach got off to a positive start, as Argentina notched wins against South Africa and Australia in the 2018 Rugby Championship, but his reign ended with eight losses from the last nine matches.

‘I am leaving what I love the most’

The 48-year-old explained that his decision to step down was his own, as he had support from the Argentine rugby union to continue in the job.

“The decision is absolutely personal, Ledesma explained.

“I believe that a cycle has been completed and, although I have the support of the UAR, it seems to me that the team is first, and I think that if I do not have more to give it, the best thing is to step aside. I am leaving what I love the most.”

UAR president Marcelo Rodríguez thanked Ledesma for his services with both Argentina’s national team and the Jaguares, who used to compete in Super Rugby up until the outbreak of the pandemic.

Mario Ledesma’s time in charge of Argentina.

Ledesma’s time as Argentina head coach ended on a low note, as Los Pumas suffered a 53-7 defeat at the hands of Ireland in November, but he did experience some great days while in charge of his country.

Argentina beat the All Blacks for the first time under Ledesma in November 2020, and also drew with Australia twice in that year’s Rugby Championship despite the team’s lack of game time due to the pandemic.

Los Pumas did fail to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup however, as hey lost to France and England in the pool stages, and Argentina now must look for a new coach to lead them in France in 2023.

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