Friday, April 29, 2011
El Salvador: Argentina 2023 - for the Americas
Rugby in the Americas is very much on the rise with the level of the regions leading teams improving and, just as importantly, the sport is being played increasingly by more people and in more places. One such example is the Central American country of El Salvador. The country, is yet to be an IRB member or a member of any regional rugby organization but it indeed is a new frontier for rugby. El Salvador started playing rugby matches against teams from neighbour, Guatemala in 2009. The team is known as Los Torogoces. Results have varied but the team has evidently improved on its first match which was a 85-3 loss against Guatemalan club Xela. The team defeated Xela in a latter match 17-0 to highlight the progress that the team has been through in such a short period of time.
Los Torogoces have gone on to compete in the Guatemalan Championship and have achieved impressive results which have encouraged the growth of the El Salvadoran club which now has two teams. Coaches have come from elite rugby countries including Argentina and France and the result of the international influence has clearly been positive. El Salvador has not played an official international match so far but it is just a matter of time considering the Central American region has a number of other countries new to rugby who El Salvador could gain crucial experience from facing. Examples include Panama, known as the Diablos Rojos (Red Devils), Costa Rica, Mexico and, of course, Guatemala.
Importantly the Federacion Salvadorena de Rugby (FSR) is recognized as a federation from the local Olympic committee, which means rugby is officially recognized as a sport in El Salvador. Without question, having Rugby World Cup 2023 in Argentina would be a tremendous boost for noth only South America but also the region of the Americas as a whole with El Salvador being an example of rapid progress and that rugby is spreading to become a genuine region-wide sport.