Contepomi ready to serve his country

"Springbok lock Andries Bekker competes at the lineout during the first Rugby Championship match against Argentina in Cape Town on 18 August 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Former Argentina captain Felipe Contepomi exclusively told Eyewitness News Sport that he will make a return to the national team if required to do so. 

The 33-year-old, after consultation with coach Santiago Phelan, decided to step aside but never formally retired from international rugby. 

He is currently playing in the French top 14 for Stade Francais. 

Argentina was dealt a blow when star fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez was ruled out of Saturday’s clash with the Springboks due to injury.

Contepomi said,  “If there’s an injury and they think I’m the best replacement, I’ll come tomorrow. I’ll do whatever is required of me to help the team.”

Meanwhile, Springbok player Adriaan Strauss said he has big shoes to fill at hooker. 

Strauss replaced Bismarck du Plessis, who injured his knee in Saturday's Rugby Championship clash. 

Strauss says it was not a nice way to get a place in the starting line-up.

“It’s never nice to come onto the field knowing that your teammate got seriously injured. I know it won’t be easy to fill his shoes, but I hope I can contribute positively to the team.”

Strauss says his vice-captaincy role should not be too hard.

“It’s a great honour to be vice-captain and all the guys are leaders in their own right, so that makes my job a lot easier.”

The game kicks off after 9pm.  
(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)