Pumas and Toulon backrower, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe was selected as one of the best three players in the Top 14 for the 2009-2010 season. The other two selected were former All Black backrower Chris Masoe and French scrumhalf, Morgan Parra. The winner of player of the year will be announced at France´s annual Nuit du rugby (Night of Rugby) this coming Monday.
Fernández Lobbe´s Pumas colleague, flyhalf Juan Martín Hernández is a previous winner of the award having won it in 2007 in what was the first time a non-Frenchman won the award. In addition to Hernández winning player of the year, other Pumas have won player of the year in their position such as Patricio Albacete, Mario Ledesma, Rodrigo Roncero as well as Hernández himself. With Fernández Lobbe being selected as one of three finalists, Argentina´s presence in France continues to serve as a reminder of the country´s contribution to global rugby and underlines Argentina as a strong option to host Rugby World Cup 2023.
Fernández Lobbe was playing his first season for Toulon and his first in France after previously playing for the Sale Sharks in England from 2006-2009 and captaining them in the 2008-2009 season. He was selected as backrower of the year in the then Guinness Premiership in his final season for Sale. His form so far in the 2010-2011 season has been equally impressive for Toulon and only in his second season at the club he has been captaining the side in a number of matches.