Santiago Gomez Cora was 'pumped', as they say in America. He and his side had just arrived back from watching their motivational video ahead of the USA Sevens in San Diego - highlights of their countrymen finishing third at last year's Rugby World Cup.

No fewer than 16 of the players on show for the Pumas at the World Cup in France had graduated from the Argentinian Sevens team that competes in the IRB Sevens World Series, so it's easy to understand why the DVD struck a chord.


Master marksman

Ironically, though, one player not to have gone on and played for the Pumas is the all time leading try scorer in the history of Sevens rugby, Santiago Gomez Cora.

Having crossed the whitewash 179 times in the series - 29 times more than anyone else - Argentina's inspirational leader certainly knows the way to the try line, but these days he takes more pride in preaching the collective.

"Before I was captain I used to think a lot about the tries, scoring tries and becoming the top scorer. And of course I'd like to go on to score 200 for Argentina," said Gomez Cora.

"But these days I think more about the team, the group, whether the team wins and whether the guys are happy. That's more important now."

LA the inspiration 

Argentina had a good start to this season, winning the plate in Dubai and reaching the Cup semis in South Africa, but day one in Wellington last weekend went horribly wrong with losses to USA, Tonga and Scotland. Gomez Cora speaks with conviction, though, when asked whether his side can bounce back and cites a Cup victory in LA four years ago as ultimate proof.

"They're good memories for us. When we arrived in LA four years ago we had a lot of new players, we never thought that we might go on and win the tournament," he said. "Of course we have to forget that now, you can't go around saying 'we won here three years ago' but maybe it will be the same here this weekend.

"I know it's going to be very difficult but, who knows, maybe we'll get another miracle like four years ago."

Brothers in Arms

Santiago has played 46 tournaments for Argentina and many of those have been spent outside his brother Pablo, who has gone on to play for the Pumas. Nothing gives Santiago more pleasure than lining up alongside his brother - not even scoring tries.

"Playing for Argentina with my brother is the most beautiful thing in my life," he said.

"He's my brother, my best friend, I play with him in my club, here, in the provincial team. And we lived for 20 years in the same bedroom at home so we know eachother fairly well! Travelling the world and playing with him is the best thing I do."

Argentina face Kenya, Canada and Chile today in Pool C on day one of the USA Sevens.