Tuesday, April 1, 2014

UAR: Carlos Araujo assumes role as new President


Photo Cuarto Try
A new tenure in Argentine rugby began on Monday with Carlos Arajo replacing Luis Castillo as the new President of the UAR. Arajo replaces a man whose tenure was considered as being very steady and dominated by progress. Castillo oversaw the transition from the wilderness to playing in the Rugby Championship, creating regional development centres securing a soon to be official place in Super Rugby and significant economic progress that has been the UAR´s budget boom. Arajo will now be in charge of Argentine rugby for four years. 

Araujo takes over a steady ship and one that is in a better position that before the arrival of Castillo. Under Castillo the UAR went from having thirteen sponsor that paid a total of $15 million Argentine pesos per year to now having twenty-four which generate $60 million pesos. 

The progress has seen the UAR become self-sustainable with the IRB now funding just 5% of the union´s budget. The remainder of the budget comes from events, sponsors and television rights. Events make-up 41% while sponsors and television rights account for 54% of the UAR´s income. IRB hall of famer Agustín Pichot made the following point: “Which other sporting institutions in Argentina can show healthy financial statements?”

The increased revenues have come under a regime which has been about growing the game. Established has been the Nacional de Clubes, regional development centres across the country and test matches have increasingly been played in a variety of cities outside of the capital. 

While Castillo helped turn the UAR into a very healthy economic sporting organization Araujo is faced with not only continuing the progress but also turning around the misfortunes of Los Pumas. Several days before Taking up his new post Araujo said that he was concerned with the lack of positive results from Los Pumas in the Rugby Championship, but he was nonetheless convinced that Argentina was on track and believed the development to be positive

In his opinion the public should not be awaiting impressive results until after 2015 as he believes Super Rugby to be vital to the chances of Los Pumas performing on the international stage. Araujo proposes that in order for Argentina to achieve the goal of defeating rivals in the Rugby Championship there is a need to have 100 contracted players. 

Making this possible is to be one of the central objectives of his tenure and to make it a reality he plans on increasing the number of players in the regional development centres. It will, according to Araujo, enable the UAR to utilize a larger group of appropriate players for Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship. 

Araujo supports the appointment of Daniel Hourcade following the resignation of Santiago Phelan and believes that Hourcade is fit to coach Los Pumas. Araujo clarified his thoughts by saying that having a foreign coach of note would be positive but contends that Hourcade is well placed and has the knowledge and experience required. 

Araujo is from Rosario while Castillo is from Tucumán. Prior to Castillo all UAR Presidents had been from Buenos Aires. 

2 comments:

  1. Hi Paul, thanks for this post. Do you have any updates on Argentina's entry into Super Rugby? I know that SANZAR decided in a meeting on February 20th to include them (and a sixth South African franchise too), but the NZRU, ARU and SARU also need to approve the proposal (and possibly the players' unions do as well). Do you know if all these bodies have approved the expansion yet? I certainly hope there are no last minute hiccups or tunnel vision nonsense trumping the big picture (which sadly seems to happen a lot in rugby boardrooms)... I've followed rugby for close to 20 years now, but have got steadily bored and frustrated with the status quo/ the same teams dominating international rugby year in year out. I think Los Pumas could be in the world's top four if given the right support..so it's fair to say Argentina's chance to become a true rugby power very much hinges on this decision! If the blazers keep them out and go the selfish route, I'll be jumping ship and following another sport for good!

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    1. It is yet to be made official but is confirmed behind closed doors. The ARU and NZRU have both ratified Argentina having a team. South Africa has long been in favor and is to also ratify the Pampas XV team shortly. It was due to be at the end of March. So hopefully this week will see it made official.

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