Argentina boosted by Fernandez Lobbe return



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Sale Sharks forward Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe has been confirmed in the Argentina squad to play current world champions South Africa as part of the celebrations of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday.

Recently appointed Argentina head coach Santiago Phelan received the clearance to select the 26-year-old back row after he was made available by the Guinness Premiership side for the Mandela Tribute Test in Johannesburg on August 9.

Fly-half Benjamin Urdapilleta replaces Santiago Fernandez in the 26-man squad after the Hindu number 10 was ruled out with a fractured hand.

Argentinian Rugby Union spokesman Rafael Laria also confirmed Fernandez Lobbe will travel to South Africa.

He told PA Sport: “The Union received a message from Sale Sharks and we can confirm Juan will travel to South Africa.”
Urdapilleta was surprised after receiving his call up.

“I truly didn’t expect this,”

“I was watching TV at home when somebody from the Union phoned me. I couldn’t believe it.

“I wasn’t aware of Santiago’s injury either.”

“Then, I immediately called my father, my brother, my girlfriend, everybody. I’m flying (to South Africa) on Wednesday night.”

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