Argentina received a significant boost by the news that veteran Sale forward Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe has released by his English club and will join the Pumas for their one-off Test against South Africa in Johannesburg next month.
The Springboks host the Pumas in the Nelson Mandela Tribute Test on August 9 – before the Boks continue with their Tri-Nations commitments.
Rugby 365 reports that Argentina head coach Santiago Phelan received clearance to select the 26-year-old back row forward, Lobbe, for the game that is part of Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations.
Argentinian Rugby Union (UAR) spokesman Rafael Laria said: “The Union received a message from Sale Sharks and we can confirm Juan will travel to South Africa.”
There was another change to the Pumas squad, with Santiago Fernández, a player from Hindu Club in Argentina, had pulled out of the trip to South Africa as a result of a fracture of the foot, suffered in a local club game at the weekend.
His place will be taken by CUBA star Benjamín Urdapilleta, who represented Argentina in the Churchill Cup tournament earlier this year.
The Pumas will gather on Wednesday, before heading to South Africa.
Argentina – revised: Horacio Agulla, Patricio Albacete, Rimas Alvarez Kairelis, Miguel Avramovic, Lucas Borges, Raffael Carballo, Manuel Carizza, Felipe Contepomi, Martín Durand, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Alvaro Galindo, Juan Francisco Gomez, Pablo Henn, Alfredo Lalanne, Pedro Ledesma Arocena, Mario Ledesma Arocena, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Esteban Lozada, Federico Martin Aramburu, José María Nuñez Piossek, Rodrigo Roncero, Hernán Senillosa, Bernardo Mario Stortoni, Benjamín Urdapilleta, Nicolás Vergallo, Alberto Vernet BasualdoTweet