Argentina's Jaguares players celebrate after defeating 39-7 Australia's Brumbies and classified finalist during their Super Rugby quarters final match at Jose Amalfitani stadium in Buenos Aires, on June 21 2019. Picture: AFP/ ALEJANDRO PAGNI
Argentina's Jaguares players celebrate after defeating 39-7 Australia's Brumbies and classified finalist during their Super Rugby quarters final match at Jose Amalfitani stadium in Buenos Aires, on June 21 2019. Picture: AFP/ ALEJANDRO PAGNI

Melbourne — Argentina’s rugby union (UAR) has encouraged Jaguares players to take deals overseas as outlook for Super Rugby remains uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic, centre Jeronimo de la Fuente says.

Super Rugby has been suspended since March and the future of the 2020 competition remains in doubt due to travel curbs and border controls.

“The UAR ... told us that if [a player] had an offer in the future, to take it to ease the economic issue a little,” De La Fuente told ESPN. “They told us that if we had any possibility of emigrating that we take it and that the UAR was going to be predisposed to help us to be able to travel.

“Not that the UAR is going to let all its players go. It will try to retain a base so that professional rugby remains in place, competing, and basically so that there’s some competition within the country where they can take Jaguares, Ceibos or Argentina XV.”

Super Rugby’s governing body Sanzaar has yet to officially abandon the 2020 season, which was suspended after seven rounds. However, the Tokyo-based Sunwolves, Japan’s sole team, confirmed their exit from the competition on Monday after a bid to play in Australia’s domestic “Super Rugby AU” tournament fell through.

New Zealand will also welcome the return of rugby next week with a domestic competition featuring their five Super Rugby teams to generate much-needed revenue.

The Jaguares, Super Rugby’s only Argentinian team and runners-up in the competition in 2019, have fewer opportunities on the home front where the sport remains mostly amateur.

Still, UAR president Marcelo Rodriguez said he is “optimistic” about the Jaguares despite Covid-19’s challenges. “We are sure that in one way or another Jaguares will be put in a competition that is economically and financially sustainable for the UAR,” he told ESPN. 

Reuters

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