Thursday, June 4, 2015

Pro d2: Carcassonne sign Puma Nahuel Lobo

The professional future of Argentine front-rower Nahuel Lobo is set to continue in France. The 23 year old has agreed to terms to join second division side Carcassonne on a two year deal from his current club of Montpellier. The move comes at a time in which head coach Jake White is making changes to the player roster and sees Lobo's two year deal ended a year early. In remaining in France Lobo is ruling himself out of being selected for international duty. The UAR is to enforce a new selection policy following the completion of this year's Rugby World Cup. The change will see an end to selecting players based abroad as only those playing at home are to be considered for test match rugby in Argentine colors.  

Still just 23 years of age Nahuel Lobo is a player to have been on the fringes of regular selection for Argentina in recent years. Following his debut from the bench v France in Lille in November 2012 Lobo was a mainstay in the team playing ten test matches with the most recent being against Italy in November 2013.

In 2014, however, opportunities did not eventuate as head coach Daniel Hourcade looked to develop more options by favoring home based players in a variety of positions including the front-row. Lobo thus became one of a number of players under Santiago Phelan to be overlooked with others instead being given opportunities.

While Lobo was second choice loosehead prop under Phelan Hourcade elevated Lucas Noguera Paz and Bruno Postiglioni to the senior squad for the 2014 Rugby Championship and, similarly, left out Lobo for the November tour. What had appeared to be a strong chance of Rugby World Cup involvement in 2013 has decreased to now be a possibility rather than a probability.

His move to Carcassonne rules out a place in the Argentine Super Rugby franchise in 2016 and 2017. He arrives at the south-western France club after having played fourteen Top 14 matches and two European Cup matches for Montpellier. The move will likely see him obtaining significantly more game time. Among other new signings, he will be joining Uruguayan fly half Felipe Berchesi at the club.  

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