The 2013 CONSUR C tournament began on Sunday with two internationals matches being played between countries yet to become official IRB members. Costa Rica took on neighbors El Salvador while Guatemala faced Ecuador and after one round it is clear that Costa Rica is the team to beat.
Costa Rica completed a highly impressive 71-3 victory in round one played on Sunday while Ecuador won 23-11 against Guatemala. With Costa Rica set to face Ecuador on Wednesday it is likely to be confirmed that Costa Rica will be the CONSUR C champion and, as such, will win promotion to CONSUR B for the 2014 season. But for this to occur this home side needs to win every match and, although, El Salvador and Guatemala both lost on Sunday they face each other also on Wednesday and should Guatemala win it will have a chance, albeit not likely, of defeating the host nation in round three on Saturday.
The tournament winner will face official IRB members in the 2014 CONSUR B tournament including Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. Paraguay was also involved in the 2013 CONSUR B but the future of Los Yacarés remains clouded as CONSUR is yet to confirm the make-up of the 2014 CONSUR A tournament.
One of the possibilities for the top level South American tournament is for Paraguay to join Brazil, Chile and Uruguay in a home and away series in which each team would play six test matches. It is the favored option of a number of unions with Chile having been arguing for quite some time for such an arrangement. The suggested structure would enable all teams to host their opponents and therefore have three incoming tests, a significant improvement on the current arrangement.
Should such a scenario occur then the winning nation would advance to the South American final to face Argentina. The idea being that South American sides would have more opportunities of winning matches and less of losing by big scorelines. The second highest ranked South American nation, Uruguay, would gain just as much as Brazil and Chile as it would be able to host three tests on different weekends at the URU owned Estadio Churrua. It could also host Argentina should it maintain its status in the continent.
CONSUR A, is, in other words a competition made up of the Southern Cone nations. With or without Paraguay it is a competition that only has countries who are a part of the Southern half of the continent involved. The reason being that they happen to be the best rugby playing nations in South America. The sport is played throughout the continent but with CONSUR and NACRA operating more according to cultural than geographical boundaries Ecuador is the only South American nation in CONSUR C. Indeed El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala are Central American nations, thus technically North American countries. The Spanish language binds the countries more to Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela than it does to Jamaica or the USA. For this same reason Guyana, plays in NACRA despite having borders with CONSUR nations.