Monday, August 12, 2013

Pumas touch down in South Africa

Photo UAR: Creevy, Senatore and Fernández  in Johannesburg

Having departed Buenos Aires at 6pm on Sunday evening local time the Argentine mens rugby team arrived in South Africa on Monday. Los Pumas arrived on Monday morning and checked into the Hotel Sandtun Sun near Mandela Square after being welcomed by the Argentine amabassador to Argentina, Carlos Sersale. The players trained after having the morning off to recover from the flight. 

Although no official word has yet been made from the UAR or Santiago Phelan ESPN Scrum has said that Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe is set to be confirmed as not being ready to play against the Springboks on Saturday. The Pumas captain did not train with the squad today. Instead he was involved in gym training and was examined by the medical staff. Patricio Albacete, in contrast appears very likely to be fit to play and captain his country. The Toulouse secondrower has been playing for Argentina since before Rugby World Cup 2003 and weas on the bench in the side that narrowly missed out on a victory over the Springboks in Port Elizabeth in 2003. On that occassion South Africa won with a penalty in overtime.

Questions surrounding the make-up of the side should become much clearer on Tuesday with Phelan certain to train the his starting lineup together. There remains plenty of debate as to who ought to start in a variety of positions ranging from flyhalf to left wing to hooker to secondrow to loosehead prop to backrow. Indeed, the ongoing poll on this site currently has a 50% - 50% split split over whether or not Pablo Matera ought to start in the backrow this weekend. 

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