Argentina’s Super Rugby Team was formally unveiled as the Jaguares yesterday. The newly formed side will take part in the 2016 tournament and will be lead by Los Pumas skipper, Agustin Creevy. Their name represents the emblem of the national team.
After the Bronze medal success of World Cup 2007, Argentinian rugby has come on leaps and bounds. Overnight, players such as Juan Martin Hernandez and Juan Manual Lqguizamon became household names, and the collective team earmarked a playing style all of their own.
In 2012, Argentina were brought into the Tri-Nations tournament, forming the modern day Rugby Championship, and it was only a matter of time before they took to the domestic stage too.
Argentina has a very strong tradition of rugby, but it was not until the late 1960s where the team truly started to flourish, where they made contact with visionary coach Izak Van Heerden.
In 1965 the team toured South Africa, it was also this tour when they were bestowed their unfortunate misnomer…
A South African commentator wanted to add some mystique to the team, and as provincial teams were named after Wildlife, he thought this would help create a buzz for the touring party.
After noticing the golden cat in the Argentina crest, he took a guess between the 2 biggest cats living in South America, The Jaguar or The Puma.
Unfortunately for Argentina he chose Puma, and the name has stuck ever since!
While the International team are happy to stick with their nickname, the new team will be named after the national animal.
Much like the new Japanese team the Sunwolves, a lot of the players are relative unknowns outside their own country, but with the progress that has been made already, it won’t be long before they too are household names.
Hooker Creevy will lead a strong squad that features a number of Test stars, including Santiago Cordero, Juan Martin Hernandez, Nicolas Sanchez and Juan Manuel Leguizamon.
“To me, it is a dream. It is a historical event having a professional Argentine team in a tournament such as this, in which the best rugby in the world is played,” said Creevy.
“I still think about it in those terms today and it touches me deeply. It will help us not only to become a more unified team, but also to provide the group with continuity. We will now have the chance to keep on growing as individuals, to get to know each other much better as to the game and to become a better team as a whole.”
- Head Coach: Raúl Pérez, Assistants: Felipe Contepomi, José Pellicena and Martín Gaitán
- Jaguares will play the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in their opening match on February 26th
- Home debut on March 18th against the Chiefs
- Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires will be their home stadium
You can learn more about the Jaguares on their official website www.jaguares.com.ar
The video below explains the Jaguares position (in Spanish) within the expanded tournament and shows how it will be structured in 2016.