The beginning of the end of the hobby: what will happen to the rugby club, and are they really keeping an eye on it?
Argentina, 1985. While the country was going through the period when Santiago Miter was scoring well, the Puma were fighting for the rugby Oscar. With a great team, made up of legendary personalities in all positions and in management, with Hugo Porta considered the best player in the world and with Eliseo Branca a perfect 15th for the magazine Rugby world, a bible for the sport, the select team filled the old Ferro Carril Oeste stadium (the following year they had to move to Vélez because he no longer had the capacity) and beat France for the first time – most of those players had just won to Australia as a visitor, in 1983 – and came inches away from defeating the All Blacks. Perhaps these are the last pictures of the Pumas’ fans—one Saturday they’re dressed in baby blue and white, the next, their club pictures—competing as equal powers.
The first blow came to a soon changing reality: two years later, in the first World Cup, the Argentines lost to Fiji and New Zealand and were knocked out in the first round. At the end of the 1990s, mass emigration began, in 1995 professionalism was declared, and the Puma family suffered great defeats and victories in that decade. The generation that followed in 1985 suffered the effects of a transition that took years, until they took bronze in 2007.
Argentina, 2023. It may not be the exact date, though it is the testimonial – perhaps because of the setting, the rugby club stadium emblematic of a century-old entity, and one of the most traditional in the country – but what was experienced last Friday at CASI, in sun dates Super Rugby AmericasIn the meeting between pampas – UAR-and privilege American Raptorsfrom the United States of America, It implied the clear and tangible start of professionalism in Argentine rugby And therefore, The beginning of the end of the hobbyAnd Played by clubs.
There is a first truth: where professionalism comes in, amateurism disappears. It happened in rugby in other countries and it happened in all sports. In football, in tennis, in basketball. It’s not about suggesting something awful, but rather a The reality that is already beginning to disturb the clubs. “What do we do now?” Last week, members of clubs in Buenos Aires, Rosario, and Tucuman were overheard saying.
There is a second fact: The highly competitive programs in the United Arab Republic are doing very well. There are qualified specialists in all fields And what has been accomplished in such a short time (since 2009) is Excellent in results, from Pumas – England 2015 World Cup semi-finalists – to Pumas 7s – Olympic medalists and two-stage winners so far this year; A team that is a source of pride for Argentine sport for its passion and quality of play. Also in structures, such as academies. And in South America, with Daniel Hourcade at the helm, the region will have three teams selected in France 2023 for the first time in history. But if the original plan – with Jaguar – It was to protect the clubs, that didn’t happen.
When they mention it from the United Arab Republic They look after the clubs because they gave them money in the pandemic and now they coach them through Conecta Rugbyhold the Half right Like who says it Augustine Pichot He does not participate in Argentine rugby decisions Because he is fully dedicated to the green energy project of the Australian company he represents. Conecta Rugby and all the trainings are important, but they are intended to promote the talent discovery project, which is the main objective of the professional plan devised and organized by Pichot.
Players are taken from clubs and brought back to them in the middle of the season Amateur competition weakenswhereby the television Favorite Pay less and less And to any The screen is released year after year. On the one hand you hear it Clubs are our most important thing. On the other hand it is exaggerated almost to the point of disdain Players are free and can do whatever they want. When the discussion arises about 101 Sports reports that Argentine clubs contribute to Super Rugby Americas franchises.
Just as a brilliant mind, Pichot, has pushed forward professionalism and the rugby business in Argentina, short in these times Mirror defended the rugby club, that he could – if they give him space – at least show another way. Carlos “Fico” Villegas said: “Rugby is not an end in itself, but a means. A means of educating, educating oneself and interacting. What will happen to the rugby club?
A few years ago, in a documentary about professional rugby, Rob Andrew, former opening for the England team, was candid: “You have to understand that there is no turning back.” Here it looks the same. Said a veteran who had a thousand battles in the national team and in the captaincy on the same Friday, some time before the Pampas made their CASI debut: ‘They are watching our beloved rugby club’. It seemed excessive. We hope it is.
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