Pumas promise more physicality
Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe has vowed there will be no lessening of intensity when Argentina play Romania in Invercargill on Saturday.
Lobbe, who has replaced the injured Felipe Contepomi as captain, said Argentina had to play with extra passion to make up for the loss of key players.
Contepomi is nursing rib injuries, while centre Gonzalo Tiesi is out of the World Cup with damaged knee ligaments.
There are just the two injury-enforced changes to the Pumas who lost 9-13 to England on Saturday.
Fullback Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino and centre Marcelo Bosch replace Tiesi and Contepomi in a reshuffled backline.
"Contepomi will be missed," Lobbe said. "He is our star, our leader. He is the type of player we believe you always need in a team."
"But we believe we have a strong squad and we’re going to do our best to try to make sure we miss him not so much."
"We all talk the same in this team. Everything we do is positive. The only way to do that is to put your body and heart on the line and give everything. That’s the way we play and that’s the way we feel strong."
Lobbe, who played in all seven tests at the 2007 World Cup and has led the Pumas in six of his previous 40 tests, said he was honoured to fill in as captain for Contepomi.
"It’s a great happiness for me," he said. "It’s a really nice responsibility. I’m very glad to have the opportunity. That’s what makes me happy, to get on the field in the No. 8 jersey."
Lobbe, who made his test debut in 2004, rated England as a World Cup contender despite its unimpressive performance against Argentina.
"They’re a really good team,” he said. "We managed to control them but they showed great patience and resolution to wait for that little mistake to win the match."
But Lobbe believed the Pumas missed a golden opportunity to upset Martin Johnson's side.
"Totally. I thought we had a big, big chance to win it. We lost it rather than England won it," he said.
"We went into the game to win it and we’re very disappointed. But the amount of passion and intensity we put into the game was a good sign. England is over now and now we think about Romania."
"They’ll be tough. They have a really good pack - you saw that against Scotland - good defence, they’re quite organised and we will have to play with lots of intensity against them."
Lobbe was pleased but not entirely surprised by the crowd support the Pumas received against England at Otago Stadium.
"The crowds in New Zealand and Australia go against the English and there was a huge number of Argentineans"
"Usually we are very loud. We like to shout and to sing and most of the New Zealand fans cheered for our side. It was a nice crowd."
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