Posted by: Gerry | October 3, 2007

Is This Why Argentina Remains Out In The Cold?

Over at Slugger O’Toole, what should have been a normal thread about Ireland’s demise in the RWC, has been dragged way off track by a coterie of über-unionists, who think that there should be a separate Northern Ireland international rugby team. They seem to be a little confused, and are of the opinion that this side could simultaneously play in an expanded Seven Nations and also contest the Magners League and the Heineken Cup. Or something. I admit that I lost the run of their thinking early on.

In an attempt to dispel this nonsense, Slugger’s regular rugby correspondent Michael Robinson, raised a viewpoint about Argentina, and why they haven’t heretofore been admitted to either of the major annual international competitions. (Comment No.6 on the 5th page of comments.)

N Ireland in a “7 nations” is laughable. None of the other 6 nations would want NI as it brings nothing to the competition.

Why do you think Argentina isn’t in the 3 nations or 6 nations? It isn’t because the team isn’t good enough. It is because they haven’t brought any money to the table and the other countries aren’t prepared to see a reduction of their revenue from the tournaments without a corresponding plan from Argentina showing how they will contribute money. The amateur and commercially inept Argentinian rugby union haven’t been able to do this.

I’d like to hear some more opinions on that, particularly from our Argentinian readership.



  1. as i see it, of course, argentinian rugby won’t bring any money to the tournament(in the firsts years)..
    here, rugby is behind the shadows of football..
    however, this excellent pumas’ development on RWC has shown me that we’re really triunphalists, cause nowadays everybody talks about them as if they were gods. consequently, if our rugby continues growing, i’d say its popularity would increase so much that we’d start having a much higher benefits. this is why i just want to be given a chance(i think we deserve it)

  2. It’s all about location, isn’t it? I mean – who’s going to have the cash to travel to Buenes Aires for a rugby weekend? It’s just too much expense for the other six nations.

    Still they’re a good looking bunch. Maybe I’ll start saving on the off-chance …

  3. No, ScaryGirl. It’s all about money.

    If it were tied to location, who would travel to New Zealand, or Australia? Southafrica is not that far however.

    All rolls down to IRB benefits from sponsors, TV rights, decisions and… you name it.

    Besides, Argentina’s rugby is not the Pumas’. Our national team is manned by a good number of boys that have acquired a superior technique playing abroad, i.e. in the UK and Europe, plus an equal number of the best native players (who will soon leave to play profesionally abroad).

    Rugby is still amateur here. No player in Argentina is paid a single penny for his participation. They kick asses and teeth along playtime and then go for a relaxing pint together, as in the old times. The Buenos Aires’ club teams get their players not only from their own lower divisions but also from the small provincial clubs, and this drains all good manpower from those small clubs. There are also a few schools competing in the 1st Division, say Cardenal Newman College (Irish Christian Brothers), whose players are pupils and old boys exclusively. Newman has given this Pumas’ team three players: the Contepomi twins and “The Bull” Ayerza and a score of others in past years (by the way, this evening we are having our annual old boys’ dinner with an estimated attendance of 1000 people; many are actual or former rugby players in the school teams, beginning in the lowest 9th or 10th divisions. I was one of them)

    It will take no less than 10 years to build up a national club’s system from the contraption that we have now; and this only if a profesional rugby career is installed, paying players enough to live honourably(otherwise they have to work in offices 5 or 6 days a-week as it happens nowadays), if good foreign referees are hired to train local ones and foreign trainers – brought from the countries that always are on top of ours, rugbywise – are hired to train our trainers. The “tano” Loffreda is only a white fly that has made us happy… but he’d been “discovered” by the English and will leave us after this Cup.

    And to accomplish the above, big money has to pour down to rugby clubs, either from the UAR’s income or from interested sponsors.

    In other words, all depends upon Argentina’s will to profesionalise its rugby, plus money, plus time, plus correct, unbiased, decisions.

    Will this ever happen?

    God knows…

  4. I played in a provincial club and we all paid travels, clothes, insurances, after games meetings, first aids, everything!! and we did it with joy and happy for be a part of this game. I´m not really convinced about Pumas playing 6 Nacions or Try Nacions right now, as I see it have to be a step by step process, first we need more sponsors, pro teams with pro players and pro estructures and then…we can think in a tournament like 3 or 6 nations, money contribution, etc. And another important topic: this team is 30 years old average, soon we´ll need a refresh of players and the natural place to look for, it´s our amateur league, mixing amateurs and pros. Our locals players have two training days a week…. it´s not enoght for a professional tournament and injuries in this game are very serious, we all know that. Sorry again for my poor english and geetings from the south of the world!!

  5. northern ireland dont have an international rugby team ya idiot

  6. Andy

    We know that. 😉

  7. Agree with Argie76. Many of thse issues is down to IRB.

    If the IRB and UAR dont work together to help a profesionalism foundation on the domestic than there is no way forward.

    But I believe the time is right for Argentina to participate in either of the Nations competition.

    Playing against big teams in competitive matches on a regular basis will provide our players plenty knowledge, experirience and exposure. This can help them to become better.

    Perhaps rugby should look at basketball in Argentina as a great example. We have plenty of players pying their trade in the NBA, in return the national team won the Olympic gold in 2004.

    Now we are amongst the best in the world alongside USA, Spain & Greece.

  8. On the Northern Ireland thing, as a Fermanagh man (yep, we exist…) I wouldn’t want to see a separate NIre team competing anywhere. We have Ulster doing reasonably well as a provincial side. Personally I’d prefer to see more all-Ireland teams (eg in football) and sod history.

  9. Perhaps Argentina should join a Southern Hemisphere 5-nation (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, Argentina) if the other four agree and our natural sponsors help us into it.

    If this works, then the dough part would be solved. And playing OUR own cup will turn IRB’s eyes (and its investors) to this side of the world.

    But will the UAR (Argentine Rugby Union) help at all? Remember when at the beginning of this year all Pumas quit upon UAR’s reluctance to help with the expenses (and other best unmentionable domestic issues)…

    And I want the Pumas to win on sunday and play the final with the English, not the froggies…


  10. First of all, let me say that, as an irish descendant and a student in an irish school, I was quite sorry to watch our fellow irishmen walk out of the RWC having shown once more the extraordinary quality of rugby they have to offer.
    Some days ago a picture of a past game showed two of your players (I believe it was Horgan and O’Gara) offering Contepomi a hand after leaving us out of RWC. On the other side of the page another picture showing your team saluting our Pumas after your defeat appeared. Those images provoked in me feelings of both gratitude and admiration, and are now hanging in my bedroom’s door.
    As regards the Six and Three Nations issue, there is a several number of problems: the first and more important one, already explained, is about argentinian money contribution, impossible because of the amateur nature of our local rugby. Another problem is both Six and Three nations tournaments have already established comercial (TV) issues, not to be changed until 2011 and 2009 respectively.
    Another point: the six nations schedule interferes with many of our players’ few days of vacations, and as many have already stated, UAR’s money can’t pay for all those blokes.
    That’s all I recall, I think I included the most important points.
    Cheers guys

  11. A friend of mine is happy because Loffreda will coach his local rugby team, the Leicester Tigers, next year.

    I told him they might be getting the 2007 RWC Champion coach for the same money!

    Just ya wite Enry Iggins, just ya wite!

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