Friday, July 19, 2013

Marcelo Loffreda views contemporary Argentine rugby as confusing

Loffreda celebrates a win in France 2007

In an interview with Martín Quetglas former Argentine headcoach Marcelo Loffreda voiced his opinion on the unresolved issue facing Argentine rugby. Although Argentina is now in the Rugby Championship the long needed solution to the problem of not having a sufficient calendar has not infact been solved. The trade off in joining the competition has been that the June international matches are not what they used to be due to Santiago Phelan not being able to select his leading professional players who are stood down for a rest period at the completion of the European club season. As a result Argentina has fielded a depleted side in the home international series in both June 2012 and June 2013. 

Marcelo Loffreda voiced his concern with the situation as he said: "Argentine rugby is somewhat confusing at the moment because eventhough we have asked over the years to play a top annual tournament, like the Rugby Championship, we can only count on our leading players for that tournament and we then have to present an alternative team for the June and November tests which, at the end of the day, is the same result as years before when we only had six tests a year and presented out best team for them. It would have been better to make some political movement with the European clubs - i.e. take advantage of IRB Regulation 9 and utilize our leading players for all twelve of the test matches.

Loffreda´s comments come at an interesting time due to authorities from a range of Tier One nations looking to alter the international windows to have test and professional rugby played at different times. It is a part of an attempt to establish a global rugby season which would see that player welfare would be significantly increased from the present arrangement which has a short rest time for players after a long season. Part of the changes argue for the June internationals to be moved to the last three weeks of July. Under such a format the European club season would be played from October to June meaning that August and September would be the rest period, or the pre-season. Should this eventuate then the Rugby Championship would have to also be moved or it would not resolve anything from an Argentine perspective.

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