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Contepomi: Retiring at the end of this year
As is ever the case, this Rugby Championship will call some of the best nations in the sport together under one roof and with it some of the best individual talents.
A large part of that talent just so happens to come hand-in-hand with experience, something a lot of the players set to feature have in spades.
It’s remarkable that Felipe Contepomi, Argentina’s highest-ever points scorer, has managed to maintain such high standards, even in the latter stages of his career.
Even at the age of 35, the Stade Francais fly-half with over 80 international caps to his name and soon to retire from the game still has his role to play in any success Argentina might have a chance at.
A player who could well go on to realise the rare feat of reaching 100 international caps, Adam Ashley-Cooper is just 20 appearances away from that achievement and is the most seasoned veteran of Australia’s squad.
Renowned for his malleability and gift to play just about anywhere in the back line, Cooper’s contributions will be essential to the Wallabies’ running game.
Richie McCaw’s involvement at the Rugby Championship is slightly unknown at the moment considering his recent break from the sport and just how Steve Hansen will utilise his abilities.
The sixth-most internationally capped player of all time will have the opportunity to add yet more onto his tally this summer, but will it be as powerful an input as it once was?
Jean de Villiers
Debuting for South Africa more than 10 years ago, Jean de Villiers remains his country’s most capped centre and will now go down as one of its most capped players on almost 90 caps.
This season, De Villiers showed with the Stormers just how much of an impact he can make on matters, even at 32 years of age, and that his playing days may run for a few years more just yet.