Rugby Championship
Lobbe to miss series opener
August 14, 2013
Argentina's Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe enters the fray, Argentina v South Africa, Rugby Championship, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza, Argentina, August 25, 2012
The Pumas will field a new-look back row without Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe © Getty Images

Argentina captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe will miss the opening match of the Rugby Championship against South Africa.

A calf injury has ruled the inspirational No.8 and skipper out of the fixture in the southern hemisphere championship at Soccer City stadium. Leonardo Senatore replaces Lobbe and is one of eight changes from the team beaten 27-6 by the Springboks in Cape Town at the same stage last year.

Centre and captain Felipe Contepomi, left-wing Juan Imhoff, fly-half Nicolas Sanchez and scrum-half Martin Landajo have been drafted into the backline. They replace Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Santiago Fernandez, Horacio Agulla and Nicolas Vergallo, who played for the South African Southern Kings in the Super 15 this season.

Senatore and flankers Pablo Matera and Juan Manuel Leguizamon form a fresh back row in place of Lobbe, Alvaro Galindo and Julio Farias Cabello.

Highly rated young tight-head prop Matias Diaz comes in for retired loose-head legend Rodrigo Roncero, who bade farewell after a home defeat by Australia last October. Juan Figallo, who wore the No.3 blue and white shirt in Cape Town, switches to the other side of hooker Eusebio Guinazu to accommodate Diaz.

The Rugby Championship was expanded last season to include Argentina, which proved competitive apart from a 54-15 home hiding from world champions, New Zealand. Los Pumas prepared for Soweto by defeating the visiting New South Wales Barbarians 29-27 and 58-12 in a two-match series.

Argentina: Juan Martin Hernandez; Gonzalo Camacho, Marcelo Bosch, Felipe Contepomi (captain), Juan Imhoff; Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo; Leonardo Senatore, Juan Martin Leguizamon, Pablo Matera; Patricio Albacete, Manuel Carizza; Matias Diaz, Eusebio Guinazu, Juan Figallo Replacements: Agustin Creevy, Nahuel Lobo, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Mariano Galarza, Julio Farias Cabello, Tomas Cubelli, Santiago Fernandez, Horacio Agulla


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