Your Views: Residency and ‘Argentina in Super Rugby’ replies

Date published: September 15 2016

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Thursday’s inbox features your thoughts on the residency rule and replies to Wednesday’s piece regarding another Argentinian franchise in Super Rugby.

Keep those thoughts coming to readersviews@planetrugby.com to make the next edition.

Six years is better than three

Great idea inviting readers views on rugby to your site and I’m sure you are going to be inundated with emails about my real bugbear at the moment, Residency laws.

Residency should be increased to six years, thus ruling out a Rugby World Cup. Scrap the grandparent rule.

So a player can only represent a country if they have lived continuously in that country for six years or one of their parents holds a passport of that country thus is entitled themselves to one. Every article about it seems to cite one particular country or another as the worst offenders but realistically everyone is at it. It has become a real mockery.

Hendre Fourie was deemed eligible a few years ago to play for England and got a few caps before injury forced him to retire, then Sale cancelled his contract and as a result he was deported as he wasn’t entitle to work in the country he represented (he did receive a visa afterwards). When CJ Stander first wore green everyone argued ‘but he sang the anthem’, so therefore was entitled to play for Ireland. Ah great, he learned a song, fair play.

These foreigners coming in and taking places once they realise they will never play for their own country blocks the development of home grown talent and will cause great players to just give up. It is damaging the game worldwide.

Gavin Hegarty

More thoughts on Argentina

Totally agree. As an Argentinian rugby fan I believe it would be the best way to retain players in the UAR system.

A lot of talent is going away to Europe because we don`t have enough professional teams where players can stay.

Valentín Lotto

I think is an option but including some players from Brasil, Uruguay and Chile. A majority of Argentina players with 3-5 from each of the other countries.

It’s a way to expand rugby not only in Argentina, also in the rest of South America.

Marcelo – Argentina

It is essential to give them the space to grow but not give them too much to do too quickly. The Jaguares will take a few years to get used to it – especially the travelling. It is important a second team is announced but the financial plenning and set is given time.

It would be likely for the second team to be passed in Tucuman or Mendoza and be called Las Pampas. I’d aim for this team to launch immediately after the next Rugby World Cup in 2020. This gives sufficient time to plan.

But the argument for is undeniable. Why would Patricio Fernández come back from Clermont to sit on the bench for the Jaguares for the next six to seven years? The depth is building with young players – see their performance in the last Junior World Cup and unless there are playing rosters available, it will be difficult to give them exposure to top level rugby unless there is a second team.

Also – if there is a second team we can have a pretty awesome Lions tour to the Americas in 2021 or 2025 – and then be ready for a World Cup in 2027.

1.       Barbarians – New York
2.       Canada – Toronto
3.       United States – Los Angeles or San Francisco
4.       Jaguares – Buenos Aires
5.       Las Pampas – Tucuman
6.       Uruguay – Montevideo
7.       Test vs. Argentina – Mendoza
8.       Argentina ‘A’ – Sante Fe or Cordoba
9.       Test vs. Argentina – Salta
10.   Test vs. Argentina – Buenos Aires

James Madeley

Argentina indeed needs a second SR team. They do have a number of international level players based in Europe, and they have a semi-professional domestic league [Nacional de Clubes], strong Regional Compettition [Argentino de Mayores] and a development programme for young players called PLAR [meaning High Performance Plan].

Besides, the second team, Argentina XV, have succeded in Nations Cup, Tiblisi Cup, ARC, and CONSUR Cup. So, they have found the way to compete at international level with a second side. Don’t forget the U20 Pumas either, qualifying for the first time to semi-finals.

So, the number of players is not an issue. The thing is to get them to participate in top international level competitions. Sure, there might be financial and schedule issues to meet, but, in time, they are all affordable when there is willing.

You might say the same thing about the USA and Canada teams joining PRO12 in the near future.

One last thing: Has anybody considered the possibility of an argentine franchise in the PRO12, based in Europe? They could easily be based, for instance, in Barcelona, gathering Argentine players from Top 14 and Premiership. Furthermore, they could even complete their roster with Spanish players as well, in a way to help another Tier Two team.

Aníbal Paz 

Doing so will be good for the development of a better Argentina national team – and many of us are happy with the praise received regarding the chances of our national team in these times. Having two sides will allow for the development of rivalries here too. Taking sides will make things hotter, and overall the game here will benefit too, opening up the possibility for different coaching or game styles, sharing experiences, that will speed up the learning curve.

If both teams developvthen probably fans will follow one or another, which is good to build up the loyalty that will ensure the continuity of the project.

But if we’re lucky enough, fans here will support both teams as part of Argentina’s overall rugby development. Then, home matches for one team should be scheduled while the other side is on tour to whet the appetite (attendances are still strong here), but more importantly, because it would be silly to have two home matches at the same time, dividing attendances.

Carlos M Spangenberg

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