‘Jaguares can win Super Rugby’ – Pulver

Date published: December 24 2015

Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver believes Argentina's newly-formed Jaguares can win the Super Rugby title in their debut season.

Pulver said because the Jaguares were able to recruit many of Argentina's Test players as well as a seemingly softer draw make them a title contenders in the revamped southern hemisphere competition.

The new tournament will have 18 teams participating in it. Teams will be divided into a complicated four-conference draw.

The Jaguares will fancy their chances in one of the tournament's weakest conferences, alongside the Kings – who will return to competition after a three-year absence – the Lions and Sharks who finished in eighth and 11th places in 2015's competition.

Apart from playing the other teams in their conference, on a home and away basis, the Jaguares will also take on four sides from the Africa 1 Conference – the new Tokyo-based Sunwolves, Cheetahs, Bulls and Stormers – and the five New Zealand teams – the Highlanders, Hurricanes, Crusaders, Chiefs and Blues.

"We're nervous that Argentina could win the damn thing," Pulver told AAP.

"They have a lot of their Test players in this Super Rugby team and they will be seriously competitive."

Argentina reached the semi-finals at the recent World Cup where they lost to Australia and several of that team's stalwarts like captain Agustín Creevy, Ramiro Herrera, Leonardo Senatore, Pablo Matera, Leonardo Senatore, Juan Martín Hernández, Nicolás Sánchez, Santiago Cordero and Joaquín Tuculet have been recruited by the Jaguares for next year's Super Rugby tournament.