After announcing the signing of flyhalf Tito Díaz Bonilla last week, Old Glory have once again dipped into the Argentinian talent pool and signed Lautaro Bavaro. The 28-year-old flanker has been a fixture at Hindú, one of the best teams in the URBA Top 13, Argentina's top amateur competition. He turned pro with Jaguares XV during their brief stint in South Africa's Curry Cup, then stuck with them as they joined the multi-national SLAR competition. In 2021, he returned to Hindú.
The first thing that jumps out from Bavaro's CV is that he doesn't seem to be tremendously qualified, with only a few years of professional rugby whcih didn't come at the highest levels. However, Hindú is the same club that Díaz Bonilla played at for seven years before moving on bigger things, and the two of them overlapped at the club for five years. That makes Bavaro and Díaz Bonilla old teammates, and I would be surprised if the latter didn't have a hand in the former's recruitment.
On top of that, it's worth diving into the details of Bavaro's career. Although reasonably young at 28, he played high-level rugby in Argentina for a decade. Since debuting at 20, Bavaro has become a locked-in starter at Hindú, playing well over 10,000 minutes rugby. For context, that's the equivalent of over eight full seasons of MLR. He has played an enormous amount of rugby, giving him a depth of experience that will be valuable.
With Felix Kalapu out, there will be space in the starting lineup for Bavaro. Cory Daniel is almost guaranteed to take one of the flanker spots, but the other should be available for the taking if Bavaro can prove himself. In a lot of ways, he balances out perfectly with Daniel - the experienced club man with a long career vs the fresh raw talent with limited experience. That could be a great recipe for success.
Curious who has been signed and who is leaving? Check out our 2023 Signings Tracker for all the updates!