Argentina national rugby union team
|Union||Argentine Rugby Union|
|Head coach||Mario Ledesma|
|Most caps||Felipe Contepomi (87)|
|Top scorer||Felipe Contepomi (651)|
|Top try scorer||José María Núñez Piossek (30)|
|Home stadium||José Amalfitani|
|World Rugby ranking|
|Current||9 (as of 21 May 2018)|
Argentina 3–28 British Isles|
(Buenos Aires, Argentina; 12 June 1910)
Argentina 152–0 Paraguay|
(Mendoza, Argentina; 1 May 2002)
New Zealand 93–8 Argentina|
(Wellington, New Zealand; 21 June 1997)
|Appearances||8 (First in 1987)|
|Best result||Third place, 2007|
The Argentina national rugby team is organised by the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR, from the Spanish: Unión Argentina de Rugby). Nicknamed the Pumas (Los Pumas in Spanish), they play in sky blue and white jerseys,
Argentina played its first international rugby match in 1910 against a touring British Isles team. As of 12 July 2017 they are ranked 9th in the world by the IRB, making them the highest-ranked nation in the Americas. They have competed at every Rugby World Cup staged since the first tournament of 1987, and the country are considered the strongest within the Americas, being undefeated against all but Canada, against whom they have suffered three losses.
Although rugby union in Argentina is not as popular as football, the Pumas' impressive results since the 1999 World Cup have seen the sport's popularity grow significantly. Argentina has achieved several upset victories, are tough contenders when playing in Buenos Aires, and are capable of regularly defeating Six Nations sides. A surprise victory over the hosts France in the first game of the 2007 World Cup took Argentina to fourth in the IRB World Rankings. The team were undefeated in their pool, and reached the semi-finals for the first time, beating Scotland 19–13 in their quarter-final. They were defeated 37–13 by eventual winners South Africa in the semi-finals, but followed this up with a second win over France to claim third place overall. By the end of the competition, the team had reached an all-time high of third in the World Rankings.
After their advances in competitiveness and performance during the 2000s, coupled with their location in the Southern Hemisphere, Argentina was the only tier 1 nation that had no regular competition, and some, among them former Pumas captain Agustín Pichot, had even spoken of them joining the Six Nations. Argentina officially joined The Rugby Championship in a meeting in Buenos Aires on November 23, 2011. In their first tournament in 2012, Argentina secured a 16–16 draw with The Springboks in only their second game.
The 2014 Rugby Championship saw the first Championship-match win for Argentina who defeated Australia 21–17. 2015 proved to be a very successful year for Argentine rugby, as the last match of the 2015 Rugby Championship was Argentina's first ever win over South Africa, where the Pumas defeated the Springboks 37–25 in Durban, and they reached another semifinal at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. In the 2016 Rugby Championship, the Pumas split the first two games with the Springboks, winning the second game 26-24 at Salta on August 27, 2016.
The History of the Argentina national team starts with the first international played by an Argentine side v. the British Islands in 1910 when they toured on South America. Argentina gained recognition in 1965, when the team toured South Africa playing a series of friendly matches there. In that tour the national team was nicknamed Los Pumas, a name that became an identity mark for Argentina, remaining to present days.
Argentina followed their growing competitiveness in the Rugby Championship with a strong showing in the 2015 World Cup, reaching the semi-finals for the second time.
Colours, symbol and name
Argentina alternated blue and white jerseys during its first international matches in 1910. In 1927 Mr. Abelardo Gutiérrez of Gimnasia y Esgrima de Buenos Aires proposed that Argentina should play against British Lions wearing a striped light blue and white jersey. That request was accepted and Argentina wore the striped uniform for the first time in its history.
Los Pumas play in a shirt in the country's flag (and sporting) colours of light blue and white, white shorts, and socks in light blue and white. In 2011, the UAR signed a deal with Nike which became the exclusive kit provider for all its national senior and youth teams, including Pampas XV. The first uniform designed by the American company left the traditional horizontal-striped jersey behind, featuring a single light blue with white shoulders jersey, although it was announced that Los Pumas will wear its traditional uniform again when they play the 2012 Rugby Championship.
On September 1941, Abelardo Gutiérrez (who had proposed the use of a white and blue jersey for the team 14 years prior) suggested a badge with the figure of a lion. The color of the crest was blue (due to Buenos Aires Cricket Club, where the first rugby match in Argentine had been played). The animal was later replaced by a native to Argentine species, so the jaguar was chosen due to his "agility and courage", according to their words.
The Pumas nickname is the result of an error made by Carl Kohler, a journalist for the then Die Transvaler newspaper in South Africa, while following the team during their first overseas tour ever – to Southern Africa in 1965. He tried to devise a catchy nickname for the team similar to existing international team nicknames such as All Blacks, Springboks, and Wallabies. He asked Isak van Heerden, the then coach of the Natal Rugby team who was asked by the SARB to assist with the tour, for ideas. They saw a picture of a type of lion with spots on the UAR crest. Kohler was aware that the Americas had jaguars and pumas, and as he was under pressure to submit his article, made a guess and called them the Pumas, instead of the actual jaguar. The mistake stuck, and was eventually adopted by the Argentines themselves (although the UAR crest still depicts a jaguar).
- 1 The team alternated white and blue jerseys during that period.
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor|
|1978 – 1998||Adidas||No shirt sponsor|
|1999 – 2000||VISA|
|2000 – 2003||Topper|
|2004 – 2011||Adidas|
|2012 – present||Nike|
The Pumas use a variety of stadiums when playing at home. One of the most frequently used for tests is José Amalfitani Stadium, home of Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield and sited in Buenos Aires. When Great Britain made their first tour to Argentina in 1910, the national team played them at Sociedad Sportiva Argentina of Palermo. That test was also notable for being the first Argentina match ever.
When the British combined returned to Argentina in 1927, the national side started to use GEBA and Buenos Aires Cricket Club as their home venues. GEBA was a frecquent venue during the next decades, but hosted only three matches after the 1960s, as the Pumas started using larger stadiums; the Pumas' last match at GEBA was in 1993. On the other side, the Buenos Aires Cricket was also used for a large number of matches until 1948 when it was destroyed by fire.
In 1997 BACRC inaugurated the first purpose-built rugby union stadium in Argentina, erected in Los Polvorines, Greater Buenos Aires. A total of nine international games were played there by the national team until 2005 when it was sold.
During the mid year tests in 2007, as well as Vélez Sársfield, Argentina played games at venues including Brigadier Estanislao López in Santa Fe, Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, and Gigante de Arroyito, in Rosario. Argentina have also used the River Plate Stadium in the past, and in 2006 hosted Wales at Estadio Raúl Conti in Puerto Madryn.
Argentina have won 227 of their 435 Test matches, a win record of 52.18%. When the world rankings were introduced by the IRB in October 2003, Argentina were ranked seventh. They fell to eighth in the rankings in June 2004, before rising back to seventh by November that year. They fell back to eighth in February 2005, and stayed there until falling to their lowest ranking of ninth in February 2006. Since then, Argentina rose to eighth in July 2006, then sixth in November of that year. They had a one-week fall to seventh, then one week later rose to fifth to start the World Cup 2007.
Los Pumas twice surpassed their highest ranking at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Defeating number three France, the second opening game loss for a World Cup hosting nation, moved them into fourth place, their highest position since the IRB World Rankings were established. They lost to eventual champions South Africa in the semi-final but beat France yet again in the bronze medal round to set another highest ranking, third, behind South Africa and New Zealand.
Argentina has won every match against South American national teams, including 41 against Uruguay, 38 against Chile, 17 against Paraguay and 13 against Brazil. In contrast, they have never beaten New Zealand, having scored a draw against them.
Men's World Rugby Rankings
|Top 30 rankings as of 3 September 2018|
|*Change from the previous week|
|Argentina's historical rankings|
|Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 2 July 2018|
|Oxford and Cambridge||8||2||5||1||25.00%||48||126||-78|
|South Africa Gazelles||6||2||4||0||33.33%||60||71||-11|
Rugby World Cup
The Rugby Championship
|Rugby Championship (2012–present)|
Updated: 8 October 2017
On 6 August, newly appointed head coach Mario Ledesma named a 36-man squad for the 2018 Rugby Championship.
- Caps Updated: 25 August 2018
Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.
- 1932: Edmundo Cundo Stanfield
- 1936: Luis Cilley, Edmundo Stanfield and C. Huntley Robertson.
- 1954: Juan C. Wells.
- 1956: Dermot Cavanagh and Horacio Savino.
- 1959: Jorge Merelle.
- 1960: Robert Galarga.
- 1965: Izaak Van Heerden, Alberto Camardón and Ángel Guastella.
- 1965–66: Alberto Camardón and Ángel Guastella.
- 1967–70: Alberto Camardón, Ángel Guastella and Jorge Merelle.
- 1971: Ángel Guastella and Eduardo Poggi.
- 1972–73: Ángel Guastella, Eduardo Poggi and Oscar Martínez Basante.
- 1974: Carlos Villegas, Emilio Perasso and Jorge Merelle.
- 1975: Eduardo Poggi and Eduardo Scahrenberg.
- 1976–77: Carlos Villegas and Emilio Perasso.
- 1978: Ángel Guastella, Aitor Otaño and José L. Imhoff.
- 1979–80: Luis Gradín and Aitor Otaño.
- 1981–83: Rodolfo O'Reilly.
- 1984: Héctor Silva and Aitor Otaño.
- 1985–86: Héctor Silva, Aitor Otaño and Ángel Guastella.
- 1987: Héctor Silva and Ángel Guastella.
- 1988–90: Rodolfo O'Reilly and Raúl Sanz.
- 1990–91: Luis Gradín and Guillermo Lamarca.
- 1992: Luis Gradín and John Hart.
- 1993–94: Héctor Méndez and José J. Fernández.
- 1995: Alejandro Petra and Ricardo Paganini.
- 1995: Alejandro Petra and Emilio Perasso.
- 1996: José Luis Imhoff, José J. Fernández, Héctor Méndez and Alex Wyllie.
- 1997: José Luis Imhoff, Héctor Méndez and Alex Wyllie.
- 1998: José Luis Imhoff and Alex Wyllie.
- 1999: José Luis Imhoff and Alex Wyllie, next Héctor Méndez and Wyllie, next Wyllie alone.
- 2000–2007 : Marcelo Loffreda and Daniel Baetti.
- 2008–13: Santiago Phelan and Fabián Turnes
- 2013–18: Daniel Hourcade
- 2018–:Mario Ledesma
After Marcelo Loffreda left following the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the UAR spent nearly five months searching for a successor until opting for a two-coach setup, with former Pumas Santiago Phelan and Fabián Turnes taking over. On 22 October 2013, Phelan resigned from his post, ending a five-year spell in charge 2 week before Argentina goes on tour as part of the 2013 end-of-year rugby union tests. On 23 October 2013, Argentina Jaguars and Pampas XV head coach Daniel Hourcade was named the new Head Coach and his current contract will run through until the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Individual all-time records
|5||Juan Manuel Leguizamon||Flanker||2005-||81||62||18||31||49||0||38.75|
|Juan M. Fernández Lobbe||Flanker||2004-2015||71||69||2||30||40||1||42.95|
|1||José Núñez Piossek||Wing||2001-2008||28||26||2||145||29|
|2||Diego Cuesta Silva||Centre||1983-1995||63||63||0||125||28|
|11||7 players on 14 tries|
|8||Juan Martín Hernández||Fly-half||2003–2018||71||65||6||173||8||20||22||9|
|9||Juan Fernández Miranda||Fly-half||1997–2007||29||17||12||158||5||41||12||5|
|10||José Núñez Piossek||Wing||2001–08||28||26||2||145||29||0||0||0|
Most matches as captain
|6||Juan M. Fernández Lobbe||Number 8||2008–2014||20||4||15||1||22.50||10||2|
Most points in a match
|2.||José Núñez Piossek||Wing||45||9||0||0||0||27/04/2003|
|Eduardo de Forteza||Fly-half||31||0||11||3||0||25/09/1975|
|10.||4 players on 30 points|
Most tries in a match
|1.||José Núñez Piossek||Wing||45||9||0||0||0||27/04/2003|
|5||5 players on 5 tries|
|1.||Gustavo Jorge||Wing||17 years and 349 days||08/10/1989|
|2.||Federico Méndez||Prop||18 years and 86 days||27/10/1990|
|3.||Patricio Fernández||Fly-half||18 years and 202 days||01/05/2013|
|4.||Alejandro Iachetti||Lock||18 years and 319 days||21/09/1975|
|5.||Eliseo Branca||Lock||19 years and 26 days||16/10/1976|
|6.||Lisandro Arbizu||Fly-half||19 years and 28 days||27/10/1990|
|7.||Marcos Kremer||Lock||19 years and 42 days||10/09/2016|
|8.||Santiago Álvarez||Centre||19 years and 69 days||27/04/2013|
|9.||German Schultz||Wing||19 years and 81 days||27/04/2013|
|10.||Manuel Plaza||Lock||19 years and 139 days||23/05/2015|
|1.||Hugo Porta||Fly-half||39 years and 60 days||10/11/1990|
|2.||Mario Ledesma||Hooker||38 years and 145 days||09/10/2011|
|3.||Fairy Heatlie||Number 8||38 years and 48 days||12/06/1910|
|4.||Omar Hasan||Prop||36 years and 181 days||19/10/2007|
|5.||Felipe Contepomi||Centre||36 years and 46 days||05/10/2013|
|6.||Martín Scelzo||Prop||35 years and 246 days||09/10/2011|
|7.||Rodrigo Roncero||Prop||35 years and 233 days||06/10/2012|
|8.||Marcelo Loffreda||Centre||35 years and 151 days||15/10/1994|
|9.||Julio Farías Cabello||Flanker||35 years and 65 days||23/11/2013|
|10.||Rolando Martín||Flanker||35 years and 33 days||26/10/2003|
- "Felipe Contepomi será el Puma récord en Rosario". CanchaLlena.com. 1 October 2013.
- "La despedida de un símbolo". Clarin.com. 6 October 2013.
- ""Contepomi to set record, Pumas chase historic win" at UltimateRugby.com". Archived from the original on 7 April 2014.
- "Contepomi ya sabe lo que significa ser Puma récord". Clarin.com. 29 Sep 2013.
- "Contepomi superó a Porta y es el goleador récord", Clarín, 9 June 2012
- "Contepomi, goleador histórico Puma", ESPN, 9 June 2012
- "Six Nations would be magnificent seven with us, pleads Pichot", Western Mail, 19 June 2006.
- Deges, Frankie. "Argentina is now part of Rugby Championship". Buenos Aires Herald. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "Wallabies defeated 21–17 by Argentina". The Australian. 4 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Argentina is now part of Rugby Championship by Frankie Deges, The Buenos Aires Herald, 23 Nov 2011
- "La pasión cumple 100 años", La Nación, 10 April 1999
- "El pase del verano: Los Pumas dejan Adidas para vestirse con Nike", El Cronista, 27 November 2011
- "Nike presenta su camiseta de Los Pumas", Prematch website
- Davies, Sean (26 July 2007). "Puma power: Argentinian rugby". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 8 October 2007.
- "Lions": Los viajes olvidados by Ricardo Sabanes, 16 May 2017
- "El centenario del debut", Clarín, 13 June 2010
- "Argentina at ground: GEBA", ESPN Scrum.com
- "El club de rugby más antiguo de la Argentina" at Rugbytime.com Archived 12 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine., 19 September 2008
- "Buenos Aires Cricket & Rugby Club" at Centro de Documentación, Investigación y Referencia Histórica-Deportiva, June 2009
- "Adiós a un escenario de triunfos históricos", Clarín, 4 Dec 2005
- "El historial de los Pumas contra los grandes: los All Blacks, el único al que no le pudieron ganar", Cancha Llena, 8 Aug 2015
- "El historial de Los Pumas ante Australia, la tercera potencia", Infobae, 18 Oct 2015
- Ranking archives can be found at the IRB website; www.irb.com
- Argentina statistics Archived 13 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
- Plantel para empezar los entrenamientos de cara al RCH 2018
- Argentina Lose Montoya for Rugby Championship Opener
- Blockade Ends as Figallo is Officially Back for Argentina
- Changes to Pumas Roster for Mendoza
- Gastón Cortés Added to Argentina for Oceania Tour
- (in Spanish) UAR. Entrenadores de Los Pumas de todos los Tiempos Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Iribarren, Ezequiel (21 February 2008). "Le buscaron pareja" (in Spanish). Clarín. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
- "Daniel Hourcade, nuevo Head Coach de Los Pumas". Archived from the original on 1 November 2013.
- "Rugby Union - Argentina - Most matches - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum. Archived from the original on 25 October 2013.
|Wikinews has related news: 2007 Rugby World Cup: Argentina shock France in tournament opener|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Argentina national rugby union team.|
- Official website
- Los Pumas at Planet Rugby (news about Argentine rugby)
- Rugby Fun (news, statistics and results)
- Los Pumas at Rugby Time (news, statistics and results)
- Los Pumas at El Rugbier (news, statistics and results)
- "Argentina's time in the sun", BBC Sport, 24 Jan 2001
- "Puma power: Argentinian rugby", BBC Sport, 24 Apr 2006