Argentina find temporary home in the Churchill Cup

After the unanimous decision by the rugby world that Argentina should be welcomed into a major international competition, they will feature this summer in the Churchill Cup.

Despite wide recognition that they must be accommodated somewhere, the SANZAR nations were reluctant to share Tri-Nations revenue with the Pumas, whilst a number of logistical issues have impeded the formation of a Seven Nations competition in Europe.

The team that finished 3rd in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, ranked 3rd in the world, will compete against Canada, USA, England Saxons, Ireland A and Scotland A in June.

A fairly large part of me feels that this isn’t quite satisfactory, but at least it is something. There is an argument to say that the World Cup squad was an unusually talented bunch and that their lofty status in the IRB rankings cannot be sustained. There is an equally persuasive argument that says they will only become a consistent challenger if they play competitive rugby consistently.

Regular participation in the Churchill Cup may prove to the world that they can perform regularly and should be accommodated in one of the top tier competitions, but only time will tell.

What does everyone think? Does this go far enough to show Argentina that they are welcome on the international rugby scene?

6 thoughts on “Argentina find temporary home in the Churchill Cup

  1. Now you think about it, it’s pretty bizarre that Argentina have never been involved in the Churchill Cup before. And it would have made sense a few years ago. It’s not really enough now though. Italy were let into the 6 Nations because they won a few friendlies with Wales and Ireland. Argentina have finished 3rd in the World Cup, beaten all four home unions recently and beaten France 6 times in a row.

    Where there’s a will there’s a way and they should be accommodated in any way possible. I think that their natural home is the Tri Nations but we have seen from their treatment of the Pacific Islanders the contempt in which Oz and NZ hold the so-called lesser nations.

    The argument that they should play in Europe and be based in Spain is ludicrous – the only argument in favour of that is that they speak the same language. Granted most of their players play club rugby in Europe but how is rugby supposed to grow in Argentina and South America as a whole if they never see their own players play?

  2. Arentina played in the Churchill Cup in 2005, but haven’t appeared since. You should know this!

    Agree with the Spain idea being ridiculous, they need to play in front of a home crowd to allow the game to grow.

    We saw what happened when some big football match was rearranged because it was at the same time as one of the RWC matches – that’s how to grow rugby in a football-mad nation.

  3. SANZAR need to grow up and include Argentina and a Pacific Islanders team in a Southern Hemisphere 5 Nations. They are strangling the game by refusing to let these areas develop. Also, some competitive rugby against teams other than themselves may actually harden New Zealand and Australia up so that the World Cup isn’t such a shock to them next time!

  4. Couldn’t agree more Kemlo. The chokers in particular have much to gain from including them. Of all the Tri-Nations teams they seem to be the ones that struggle once they come up against a different style of rugby at RWC time.

    Still, the Tri Nations teams don’t need to do anything nearly so generous now as they have a new hope of turning the RWC in their favour – the ELVs.

  5. The Argentina team competing in the 2008 Barclays Churchill Cup is actually an Argentinian XV (the equivalent of an A team). Their first XV are playing two Test matches against Scotland during that same June window.

  6. Interesting. Well at least that will give their fringe players a chance to develop and help the strength in depth of their squad. They did – understandably – start to look a bit stretched in the RWC as one or two of their players started to look a bit jaded.

    I’m sure their first team will learn a lot from their two tussles with the Jocks!

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