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Tuesday, January 03, 2006


International Teams: Porta to fight better deal for Los Pumas

Hugo Porta - in many books the greatest flyhalf ever to grace the game - has returned to the Argentina Rugby Union as president of their committee for international relations with the aim of creating a better deal for Los Pumas. Recent talks in Fiji indicate that the Pumas may be involved in this years Pacific Six tournament.

"My challenge is to obtain a fixed competition for the national team," Porta said. "I want the Pumas to compete with the best."

Reports from Fiji indicate that the Wallabies are contemplating withdrawing their
Australia A team from the competition, claiming that it does not meet their aims for developing Wallaby rugby, and that Argentina will step into the breach. The competition currently involves the A-teams from Australia and New Zealand as well as Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Japan.

The IRB last year donated $8 million in its quest to further development in the Pacific Islands, whilst investments worth $40 million were made towards development in the PI teams, Canada, Romania and the USA.

Eddie Butler, writing in The Observer (England) borrows some interesting ideas from Scott Johnson, current skills coach of the Welsh team:

- Why not invite Argentina into the current Six Nations and base them in Spain and provide them with the comforts of their home language, plus the added advantage of promoting the game in Iberia?
- Having seven in the championship would give each country three matches at home and three away, fairer than the current 3-2 or 2-3 split. And there would be a rest weekend for each country, never a bad thing in these congested times.
- The inclusion of the Pumas would stretch the timescale of the Seven Nations. Another good reason, then, to move the whole thing down the calendar, to the end of the European season, where it would be an international showpiece in its own slot. No cup rounds in the middle, no tug-of-war between coaches. The clubs would have finished with the players and could hand them over without rancour to the countries.

Butler says Argentina might resist the lure of Europe if they thought they were in with a chance of being invited into the Tri-Nations.

"Perhaps they wouldn't know where to insert another A in their acronym. Theirs is an exclusive rugby club, in that they are very good, but they also do a mean line in exclusion.

"Staging an annual Seven Nations would detract from the quadrennial World Cup. But, to be honest, ever since Japan were snubbed as hosts for the 2011 tournament, I am not sure the World Cup is going to stand the test of time, or whether we should even be that bothered," says Butler.

Whatever the case may be, more and more voices are protesting the raw deal currently handed out to Los Pumas - and this probably has everything to do with Porta's new involvement with Argentine rugby.

Hugo Porta played in 43 tests (in which he also scored 23 drop goals!) for the Pumas and captained the Jaguars on three tours to South Africa. He scored all 21 points when his side beat the favoured Springboks in 1982 and is widely considered as master of the art of flyhalf. In 1999 Rugby World Magazine elected him as the best flyhalf of all-time. He played his last test against England in 1990, coming from retirement at the age of 39.

Porta served as ambassador to South Africa from 1991 tot 1994, when he became Argentina's minister of sport.
Hopelik kan die nuwe bestuur van SARFU na Brian gepos is dieselfde soort van gedagtes he.Wat van n kompetisie tussen lande vir hulle B/C side.Noem die manne die Rivierhase of iets.Kom ons raak ontslae van die Bok b spanne.Jy is n bok of nie n bok nie.klaar gelag
Eish maar dis stil op die site. Hoop almal het 'n vrolike en jolige nuwe jaar gehad!  
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