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Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Lobbe to lead new-look Argentina

Argentina fly-half Santiago Fernandez takes a pass in training
Santiago Fernandez will start at fly-half in the absence of the injured Juan Martin Hernandez

Ex-Sale captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe will lead an Argentina side with a fledgling half-back duo and three new caps against England on Saturday.

Lobbe, a team-mate of Jonny Wilkinson at Toulon, is one of 12 France-based players in the Pumas squad of 22.

Santiago Fernandez will start his first Test at fly-half, after a centre outing against England in June, with Alfredo Lalanne of London Irish at scrum-half.

Martin Rodriguez, Mauro Comuzzi and Tomas Leonardi all make Test debuts.

That trio are among six players in the 22 who play in Argentina's amateur domestic rugby.

The Pumas are missing star fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez, centre Felipe Contepomi, number eight Juan Leguizamon and wings Gonzalo Camacho and Lucas Amorosino through injury.

But Camacho's Harlequins team-mate Gonzalo Tiesi starts at outside centre, with another England-based player, Leicester prop Marcos Ayerza, on the bench.

Ayerza's presence among the replacements is testimony to the Pumas' front-row strength, where the rugged France-based trio of Rodrigo Roncero, Mario Ledesma and Martin Scelzo will provide a stiff test for England's inexperienced triumvirate.

There is further experience and class in the shape of dynamic Toulouse lock Patricio Albacete and captain Fernandez Lobbe.

"We're going to have to fight a lot in the rucks since they base their game on slowing down delivery from the ruck," the number eight said of the challenge posed by England.

The Pumas have won two of their last three Tests with England, including their last visit to Twickenham three years ago.

Eight of the 22 on duty on Saturday were part of that historic 25-18 victory.

Argentina: Horacio Agulla (Brive); Lucas Borges (Albi), Gonzalo Tiesi (Harlequins), Martin Rodriguez (Atletico del Rosario), Mauro Comuzzi (Pucara); Santiago Fernandez (Hindu), Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish); Rodrigo Roncero (Stade Francais), Mario Ledesma (Clermont Auvergne), Martin Scelzo (Clermont), Esteban Lozada (Toulon), Patricio Albacete (Toulouse), Tomas Leonardi (SIC), Alejandro Abadie (Rovigo), Juan Martin Fernandez-Lobbe (Toulon - capt).
Replacements: Alberto Vernet Basualdo (Toulouse), Marcos Ayerza (Leicester), Manuel Carizza (Biarritz), Alejandro Campos (Montauban), Agustin Figuerola (CASI), Benjamin Urdapilleta (CUBA), Federico Martin Aramburu (Dax).

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see also
England change four for Argentina
11 Nov 09 |  English
England 9-18 Australia
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Argentina 24-22 England
13 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
England 37-15 Argentina
06 Jun 09 |  English
England 18-25 Argentina
11 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union

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