IT HAS been a historic year for the Argentine national team in general and for a certain Emiliano Boffelli in particular. The Edinburgh back celebrates his 50th cap this afternoon against Scotland, and if he marks the occasion with a victory it will be no more than the latest instalment in a career which is already littered with significant achievements.

The 27-year-old lost on his last visit to BT Murrayfield with the Pumas back in 2018, when a Sean Maitland try and three Greig Laidlaw penalties were enough to give the home side a 14-9 victory. But Boffelli more than compensated for that disappointment in July, when he scored the winning points in the three-Test series against Scotland in Argentina.

That was just the start, however, of a run of remarkable results. The following month, the man known to his capital-club team-mates as King Boff scored 20 points back in the summer as the Pumas beat the All Blacks in New Zealand for the first time. And he did even better a couple of weeks ago, scoring 25 points in his team’s 30-29 win over England.

“It has been very good for us to win those games against New Zealand and England,” Boffelli said yesterday after a brief run-out for himself and some team-mates at today’s match venue. “We have started to believe in ourselves. 

“We have trust in the team and that is very important for next year and the World Cup. Those were historic wins and very important for us.”

Boffelli, who plays today on the left wing, is clearly one of Argentina’s most important players – one who can pose a threat from anywhere on the field. But he is also very wary of the threat posed by the man lining up directly opposite him this afternoon, his Edinburgh team-mate Darcy Graham. 

“Darcy is very tough to play against because he is so fast – he is electric,” he continued.

“I play against him in training and he is very tough. 

“He is small, but very fast. You can’t tackle him because he is so quick and he has a good sidestep. He’s a great player.”

Although he won his first cap as far back as 2015 and made the bulk of his appearances to date before signing for Edinburgh in the summer of last year, Boffelli has grown a lot in confidence and influence since moving from Racing 92. Earlier this week Pumas coach

Michael Cheika said that Mike Blair and his coaching team at Edinburgh deserved much of the credit for that, and yesterday Boffelli himself was happy to agree. 

“Mike Blair is an amazing coach,” he said. “He put his trust in me and I have learnt a lot from him. He knows what a player needs and that is very important to me. The club are amazing, all the guys, and it is very important to me to play for Edinburgh.

“I am grateful to the fans, because since I arrived here they have shown me a lot of love. The people are amazing and it is a pleasure to play for them.”