Los Pumas – The Lost Rugby Nation to Tri-Nations

Los Pumas – The Lost Rugby Nation to Tri-Nations

I have always enjoyed watching the Pumas play rugby. Their forward pack resembles the Allblacks strength, their backs flair in line with the French and their kicking game on par with England. Argentina have been regular World Cup contenders since 1987, placed third in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, and are now ranked third in the International Rugby Board (IRB) world ranking (28 April 2008). So why aren’t they involved in any of the major rugby competitions (the only team in the top 10 IRB ranking not involved) – The Tri-Nations (Southern) and Six Nations (Northern)?

Union Argentina de Rugby (UAR) held its first international test in 1910 against the British Isles. When professionalism entered rugby, a great number of Pumas players and coaches attained contracts oversea, particularly in European teams, as internal problems, without of funding and sponsorship and initial limited IRB sustain resulted in the UAR domestic league or an American League having however to become specialized to this date. The URA has pushed for a identify in the Six Nations (due to the large number of Pumas players involved in European teams) and Tri Nations for a number of years without success.

Its success in the 2007 World Rugby Cup renewed IRB resolve to include Argentina in one of the premier competitions. The IRB stated Argentina need to have a successful functioning specialized league before it can be considered for inclusion in the Tri-nation competition (the preferred competition of the IRB for Argentina), however, due to TV rights in place, its will have to wait until after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

UAR recently replaced their board in February 2008 after they voted no to professionalism in January 2008, raised questions about hosting the 2015 Rugby World Cup and have appointed Hugo Porta to the IRB board who’s agenda is to bid for a place in the Tri-Nation or Six Nation competition. These steps by URA and IRB renewed focus of Argentina Rugby will hopefully consequence in the Pumas earning a deserved place in the Tri-Nation Competition.

I hope to see the Pumas and a Pacific Island Nation go into the Tri-Nation as soon as possible so I can see more quality international rugby in my back yard of Queensland.

Good Viewing!

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