Lobbe ready to lead Pumas
Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe believes Argentina can cope with the loss of captain Felipe Contepomi against Romania
Last Updated: 15/09/11 2:16pm
Argentina can cope with the loss of captain Felipe Contepomi for Saturday's clash against Romania, according to Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.
The Pumas' captain was ruled out of Argentina's second World Cup match in Invercargill after suffering bruised ribs in the 13-9 defeat to England last weekend.
But back rower Lobbe, who has been named skipper in Contepomi's place, believes that there is enough depth in his country's squad to overcome the setback.
"He (Contepomi) will be missed, " said the former Sale number eight, who takes the helm for the seventh time in his career.
"He's our star, the leader and the captain who can make a difference. But we believe we have a strong squad.
"It brings me great happiness (to be captain) and it is a really nice responsibility, but what always makes me glad is the opportunity to pull on this Pumas jersey."
Santiago Fernandez will take over at fly-half, while Marcelo Bosch comes in at outside centre to replace Gonzalo Tiesi, who suffered ligament damage against England.
The former Harlequins and London Irish centre has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament in New Zealand.
Lobbe is under no illusions as to the task Argentina face on Saturday, after Romania led Scotland in their opening match with just seven minutes to go before two late tries brought victory for Andy Robinson's men.
"They have a really good pack and a good defence - we saw that against Scotland," added Lobbe, who is expecting a physical encounter at Rugby Park.
"We'll have the same approach - a great defence, keep our tackling low, and try to stop them at lineouts and rolling mauls.
"Everything we do is for the team - 110% is the only option. We will put our bodies on the line and our hearts on the pitch."
Romania coach Romeo Gontineac has made three changes from the Scotland game, including a switch for Tiberius Ionut Dimofte from inside centre to fly-half.