Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Santiago Fernandez to sign for Castres?

Photo: Ole
As the French Top 14 season heads towards the crucial late rounds it is time for clubs to complete their preperation for te 2013-2014 season. There are always a host of player movements at this time with a scramble often taking place as multiple clubs attempt to sign the same player. As I write there are a host of Pumas players in talks with their existing European clubs and also with other ones. One such player who looms as changing to a rival club is 27 year old Santiago Fernández.Of the six Pumas players contracted to Montpellier he was the first to play for the club. 

Fernández made his Montpellier debut in August 2010 after having played the first season of Vodacom Cup rugby for Los Pampas XV. The club signed him to provide cover for François Trinh-Duc at flyhalf and also to offer an additional option at inside centre. He quickly established himself as Montpellier´s leading inside centre and held down the position in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons. The current season has seen him continue to be used at both flyhalf and inside centre. He missed the first eight rounds of the Top 14 due to his involvement in The Rugby Championship. His participation has not been popular with the club management but he has, nonetheless, been an important player again this season. He was key to Montpellier´s success in reaching the Heineken Cup Quarter Finals for the first time. Fernández started five of Montpellier´s six Heineken Cup matches, playing three times at inside centre and twice at flyhalf. Montpellier won all of these matches. 

Fernández has also featured in seven of the eight rounds of the Top 14 since returning from international duty which makes him a valuable asset that Montpellier could lose. According to French sources Fernández´s time at Montpellier is coming to and end. Like the case of Biarritz and Marcelo Bosch the club is less than happy with his involvement in The Rugby Championship. Bosch is to leave Biarritz while Fernández has been linked to a move to Castres. Should the move occur then he would go from having five Argentine teammates to having none as Castres presently does not have any Pumas. It has previously been the home to some big names of the past including Ignacio Fernández Lobbe and Mauricio Reggiardo. The club is nonetheless home to Uruguay´s Rodrigo Capó Ortega. Fernández is likely to remain in the Pumas midfield this year and beyond. He  has played 25 tests since debuting against Italy as a replacement in November 2008. 

Source: Le Rugby Nistere 

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