TOWERING lock forward Mariano Galarza has revealed he only quit Worcester to keep his World Cup dream alive.
The 18-times-capped Argentina second row is desperate to represent his country at next year’s global showpiece tournament, which is taking place in England.
However, the 27-year-old, who studied medicine in Argentina and plans to become a doctor when his playing days are over, was also keen to remain at Sixways, alongside his fellow Argentine band of brothers Gus Creevy, Leo Senatore and Ignacio Mieres.
With Warriors heading towards the Aviva Premiership trapdoor, it was announced Galarza had signed for their local rivals Gloucester for next season in order to remain playing in the English top flight.
He explained: “With the World Cup next year, my decision to go to Gloucester was just based on this.
“It was a really hard decision to leave Worcester – it was not easy for me, but the World Cup was the only reason.
“Gus and Leo are both staying at Worcester and the club have done a lot for me, so it was a really hard decision.
“I am here in England because I want to play for the Pumas. I have 18 caps and I am fighting for my place in the team, so hopefully playing here at the best level in England will give me a better position for the World Cup.
“If I am playing for Argentina in the World Cup, it will be good for me – and for my family as they will have a home to stay in!”
Although Warriors’ Pumas contingent didn’t arrive at Sixways until after Argentina’s participation in the Rugby Championship in October, they settled in well. One of the main features of the South American quartet’s influence on the Worcester squad has been culinary.
The Argentinians have organised and cooked several large-scale team-binding barbecues for their team-mates, which have been very well received.
Galarza insists he is the head chef out of his countrymen when it comes to grilling meat.
He smiled: “I am the best at the barbecue cooking out of the Argentinians! In Argentina, we do that kind of thing a lot and I think it is really good for the group.
“When you are cooking, you spend two or three hours doing it, which is a really good time to chat with your friends, have a few beers and enjoy the food – that is really good for the group and an important thing.
“We try to do that with all of the teams in Argentina and I think it is good if we can bring that to England too. I think all of the guys were really happy with the idea and enjoyed the food.”
“With the World Cup next year, my decision to go to Gloucester was just based on this.”
Despite only spending a short amount of time at Warriors after being snapped up as a last-minute recruit by Dean Ryan at the end of September, Galarza insists he has loved his time at Sixways.
“In September last year when I received the news I was joining Worcester, that was really good for me,” he said.
“Worcester gave me the possibility to come and play rugby at a really good level, while Gus and Leo were here too, which made it easier for me.
“I have felt really good here and believe that I have grown as a player this year – I have learnt a lot and am really grateful to the club.
“I think this is a really good club that is fighting to get better and I think they will achieve that in the future.
“I didn’t speak a lot with Dean before I signed, but it was a really great possibility for me to play at one of the best levels in the world, so I didn’t think twice before signing because it was the right opportunity.”
Galarza continued: “It has been a tough year for Worcester, but we got better in the last two or three months. It was not enough, but the team is going in the right direction. In the future, this team will be very good, they are making a lot of good changes.”