Tuesday, December 17, 2013

UAR Set to Confirm Venues for 2014 Test Rugby

Luis Castillo has named Córdoba as a possibility to host South Africa

UAR President Luis Castillo has told ESPN Scrum that the venues in Argentina for Los Pumas' test matches will be confirmed on December 18 and there will be changes as the governing body of Argentine rugby continues to spread test rugby around the country.

Much was said from Argentine rugby followers last month when the 2014 Rugby Championship dates and venues were confirmed with Argentina having been confirmed as facing South Africa in Pretoria, New Zealand in Napier and Australia on the Gold Coast. Fans were unpleased with the UAR not being able to confirm the venues for Argentina's home tests for the tournament and also for June when Ireland and Scotland will visit. 

Part of the reason for the delay was internal issues with Argentina having had political confrontations. While the venues are yet to be named Castillo has already indicated a lot but has kept plenty close to his chest. Confirmed is that La Plata will again host Argentina's Rugby Championship test match against the All Blacks, meaning that it is to host the best team in global rugby for three straight years. 

Meanwhile neither Mendoza nor Rosario returning to host South Africa and Australia look likely with Castillo instead saying that Córdoba, Santa Fé and Salta are in the running to join La Plata in hosting a Rugby Championship match in 2014. Castillo underlined that this does not mean to say that Mendoza or Rosario will not host but indicated strongly that changes are probable. Salta has been linked strongly to the Wallabies and with Castillo naming the same city it would appear safe to assume that Australia will be playing in Salta and South Africa in Córdoba or Santa Fé.

Argentina's other home internationals against the visiting Celtic nations will be played in other venues with Castillo having singled out his home town of Tucumán along with Buenos Aires, Rosario and San Luis as the options under consideration. Aside from San Luis all venues have hosted Los Pumas previously and all, in addition to others, were included in The Book arguing for Argentina to host Rugby World Cup 2023. 

The options available to the UAR are vast which provides further reason for the IRB to seriously consider and back having the South American nation host the Rugby World Cup. Few nations spread tests as much as Argentina and with the country having a population of 40 million and being one of the ten largest countries in the world it stands out as the best future host nation. The altertnatives would mean a return to a previous host nation or allocating the tournament to a country with an inferior national team and limited chances at doing what Argentina did in 2007 - reaching the Semi Finals.  

1 comment:

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