AT such a dim and dreary time of year here, it is not immediately obvious why anyone from Tucuman in northern Argentina - average winter temperature 13.6 degrees - should choose to move to Scotland. But Ramiro Moyano, for one, is unrepentant about his decision to join Edinburgh Rugby.

The 31-year-old back has been at the club for three months now, and is convinced he was right, after two years with Toulon, to seek out something different. Now that he has been joined by his fellow-countryman Emiliano Boffelli he feels even more at home at the DAM Health Stadium.

“I think the opportunity to play in the URC, to be with another Argie in the team, and the history of the club,” Moyano said when asked why he opted to join Mike Blair’s squad. “The combo was really attractive, so it was really nice it happened.

“You get used to the weather. And sometimes you like to try different things, different tournaments. In France it’s a different game from here - they play more champagne rugby, as they call it, and they don’t count the structure. 


“Here it’s more a blend of that kind of rugby and this kind of rugby and the Argie Super Rugby. Maybe it can make me improve a little bit: that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Besides the expected pictures of family and team-mates, Moyano’s Instagram account includes a photo of him meeting his compatriot Diego Maradona. “I met Maradona at the Sevens in Dubai, and the second time was in England,” he said of the footballer, who died a year ago today[Thurs 25/11].  “I was lucky to do that.

“I think when he was living in other countries, every time an Argentinian team went there he would support them.”

Maradona is generally revered in Scotland, thanks in part to his ability to outjump England goalkeeper Peter Shilton on a certain summer afternoon in 1986, but Moyano believes that opinion on him back home in Argentina is still divided. “I think for all the people of Argentina it [Maradona’s death] had a really hard impact. But there was always a fight between the people who love and the people who hate. 

“For me, as a professional player, he was outstanding. What he did in his personal life - if you can separate that, it’s really good. If you put it all together maybe you’re not so fond of him.”