Rugby-Belief drives Creevy in search of Pumas perfection

By Rex Gowar LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Argentina's Agustin Creevy has been at the heart of the transition from the brilliant team that finished third at the 2007 World Cup in France to the Pumas side he believes can go further in England. The optimism of the 30-year-old hooker, leader of one of the most destructive scrummaging units in world rugby, is not unfounded. Though notoriously inconsistent, the Pumas have claimed notable victories over Australia, France and South Africa over the past 10 months. "Our dream is to be world champions and a nearer one is to beat the All Blacks at Wembley, but we must go step by step," Creevy was quoted as saying on the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) website (www.uar.com.ar). "We can have an historic World Cup. Our pool is difficult and we must push ourselves to the limit. If we keep killing ourselves and working humbly in training, we'll do very well." Creevy has all the attributes you would expect from an international front row forward, but his game is about much more than set-piece grunt. The former flanker is a strong ball carrier with handling skills to match. All of which will be required in abundance when Argentina begin their campaign at Wembley on Sept. 20. A first ever win against champions New Zealand in that Pool C encounter would spur the Pumas in the same way that beating France in the 2007 tournament opener set them on course for the semi-finals. Creevy captained the Pampas XV that won South Africa's Vodacom Cup in 2011 under the stewardship of Daniel Hourcade. It was the stepping stone for Hourcade's appointment as Argentina coach and Creevy's elevation to the Pumas captaincy. Creevy had made his test debut against Japan in 2005 as a flanker but did not cement his place until 2010 after switching to the front row the previous year. Creevy gained invaluable experience as understudy to then leader of the pack Mario Ledesma at the 2011 World Cup and his appointment as captain was one of Hourcade's first decisions after taking charge of the Pumas in November 2013. The experienced campaigner's worth has long been recognised in Europe, where he has played for Biarritz, Clermont, Montpellier and Worcester Warriors. Creevy was widely reported to have been be a top transfer target for Irish side Munster this year. The player, however, has opted for a return to his homeland, signing a deal with the UAR to play for the Argentine franchise in the expanded Super Rugby championship from next year until 2018. (Editing by David Goodman)