The continued growth of rugby into a truly global sport is increasingly evident in the Americas. The only IRB defined region yet to be allocated a Rugby World Cup is that incorporating NACRA and CONSUR, or North and South America. The Americas is home to three permanent participants in Rugby World Cups - Argentina, Canada and the USA and a host of developing countries ranging from previous participants Uruguay to recently established rugby playing nations such as Ecuador in South America and newcomers from both Central America and the Caribbean.
The 2014 CONSUR C tournament set to be hosted by Panama from October 5-11 of this year will have eight countries participating in the region's third tiered level international competition.Confirmation is yet to be made as to the exact structure of the tournament but it appears certain to be confirmed as an event divided into two categories - qualified members and invitees.
Panama appears set to play test matches against 2013 CONSUR C nations Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala with the winner likely to earn promotion to CONSUR B as was the case with Ecuador in 2013. Ecuador is to play in CONSUR B this year and, in doing so, play an all Northern-South American competition against Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.
Unlike the three others Ecuador is yet to obtain IRB member status and has been listed on Panama Rugby's facebook page as an invitee for the 2014 CONSUR C competition. It is therefore likely to play test matches against fellow newcomers to rugby - Honduras, Nicarágua and Cuba. All four were listed invitees.
In being allocated the CONSUR C tournament rugby in the Americas continues to be organized not on a continental basis separating North and South America in geographical terms but doing so based on linguistics. The Central American republics of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicarágua and Panama are all North American but play in CONSUR. Guyana is South Ameriacn but plays in NACRA. Cuba has now continued the policy. Mexico is an exception but could very soon join CONSUR aiming to play in CONSUR B in due course.