Sunday, September 25, 2011

Argentina Players in England - Sale Sharks

Latter on today is, of course, going to see the crunch Pool B match between Argentina and Scotland in Wellington. Both teams have a number of players playing in England and both countries have playerd at Sale Sharks. The club is one of the oldest in English rugby, having been established in 1861 and is one of the best from Northern England. The club had an off-season in 2010-2011 which has resulted in the club recruiting a large group of players for the current season. Amongst those recuited are uncapped Argentine fullback Joaquín Tuculet who is on his first professional contract with the club. He has quickly been able to establish himself in the starting XV at fullback. He missed out on selection for the Rugby World Cup with coach Sanitago Phelan opting to select Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga and Lucas González Amorosino as the two fullbacks for Los Pumas. Sale are packed with countries at New Zealand 2011 with Mark Cueto and Andrew Sheridan both in Englands squad, Andy Powell playing for Wales, Andrei Ostrikov for Russia, Richie Vernon and Alaisdair Dickinson for Scotland, Tony Buckley for Ireland, Wame Lewaravu for Fiji and Tasesa Lavea for Samoa.

The Sale Sharks finished 10th in the Aviva Premiership last season in what was a dire time for the club. It had been English champions in the 2005-2006 season with retired Pumas secondrowe, Ignacio Fernández Lobbe being an important part of the teams success. The club looked to win two years in a row and added the younger brother of Ignacio, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe to the playing roster. It was not to be, however, as the club experienced a run of injuries. In 2008 Ignacio Fernández Lobbe joined the Northampton Saints and Juan Fernández Lobbe was named as the teams captain after having been highly impressive for Sale and for Argentina. After one season as captain, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe moved to France to take up a lucrative contract with Toulon.

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