Santiago Phelan was a world class flanker before taking up the coachng reins with Los Pumas in 2008.
Los Pumas have begun their final preparations for Rugby World Cup in a high performance centre in the United States of America.
Argentina's best 39-players will be in Pensacola, on the coast of the Floridian Gulf of Mexico for a fortnight and will plan their attack on a tournament that saw them take bronze four years ago.
As in 2007, the road to Rugby World Cup has an important stop in Cardiff on August 20 where Argentina will face Warren Gatland's Wales at the Millennium Stadium.
"This game is of course of utmost importance for our preparation," says Puma coach Santiago Phelan. The former test flanker, who twice played in the Millennium Stadium in RWC 1999 and in the famous 2001 Puma win, is desperately short of playing time for his team and the opportunity to test the team in a tough environment is most welcomed.
Although he wasn't involved at the time with the team, "the game on the way to France for Rugby World Cup 2007 was very important, despite the loss. We hope this could also be the case when we play them; maybe winning this time."
Won by the home side, that afternoon in Cardiff saw a double loss for Argentina. Centre Martín Gaitán felt unwell after the end of the 20-27 loss and it was only thanks to the state-of-the-art medical facilities at the Millennium Stadium that he survived a heart attack. Gaitán never played rugby again, but he will return to Cardiff as a member of the coaching staff.
Preparation for the World Cup started on Monday when they arrived in Pensacola where for two weeks they will undertake a strict fitness training - crucial in their 2007 success. Whilst the Welsh squad is freezing in cryogenic chambers in Poland, the Argentines will be in the humid heat of USA. Once that first part of the process is over, the coaches will then have a month working in Buenos Aires on rugby aspects.
"This for us is a luxury as we will be able to be together as never under my coaching," says Phelan. "We have only been together either for a tour or in the build-up for a test. Never in long stretches that would allow us to work on specifics."
"We've identified some aspects of our game that we need to focus on and that is the second part of our preparation," explains Phelan. Top of the agenda is the contact area.
During his tenure, which started in 2008, Los Pumas only played against Wales once, losing in Cardiff in 2009.
"The game against Cardiff will show a Puma side that has been together for 45 days and almost ready for our World Cup campaign. We will be very competitive," he concluded.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.