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Pumas centre heading to Franklin’s Gardens

Northampton Saints has today confirmed the signing of Juan Pablo Estelles.

The 28-year-old Argentina international centre will arrive at Franklin’s Gardens ahead of the Aviva Premiership campaign fresh from helping the Pumas impress at the Rio Olympics en route to a sixth-placed finish in the Rugby Sevens competition.

Capped in 2008 and part of his country’s squad for the 2016 Americas Rugby Championship, Estelles has also featured regularly for Argentina in the World Rugby Sevens Series over the past six months.

He joins from Atletico del Rosario, one of Argentina’s oldest clubs, and is relishing the opportunity that has been given to him at the Saints.

“I would like to thank the Northampton Saints coaching staff for giving me this opportunity to join the club,” he says. “I am delighted to have this fantastic chance to challenge myself and prove what I can do at the highest level in England.

“I am aware of the great number of world class players that the club has at its disposal and I know that there will be plenty of competition to earn a starting jersey. But I believe in my abilities and I will be working hard to make the most of this experience, on and off the field.

“I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammates and I will be doing all I can to help the club as we strive to achieve our goals.”

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that Estelles has the potential to have an impact in English club rugby.

“Juan Pablo was part of an impressive Argentina squad at the Olympics so we know that he has the fitness levels to go straight into the Aviva Premiership,” he commented. “He’s a powerful and elusive runner with a good set of handling skills as well as strong defence, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do here at Franklin’s Gardens."

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