Argentina should be in the Super14: Johnno




Former England captain Martin Johnson says the Super 14 should expand into Argentina to build on the Pumas’ World Cup success and develop the game there.

Their third-place finish has led to calls for the team to join the Six Nations or Tri-Nations but Johnson says their domestic game needs developing as well.

“If you want the game to grow there, how about a franchise or two in the Super 14?,” Johnson told BBC Sport.

“People would get the chance to see top level rugby and aspire to play it.”

Argentina’s World Cup showing included two wins over hosts France and a Semi final defeat to South Africa saw them finishing third and represented a new high in their on-going rise in the world game. This happened despite the fact they do not have a regular competition to play in.

Most of their players play their game in Europe but the country does not have a national competition like all of the other major rugby playing nations.

Argentina’s main problem is that geographically they are a long way from all the other rugby playing nations.

“Argentina haven’t just appeared out of nowhere, if you go back through history they’ve been pretty competitive over the last 20 or 30 years,” he said.

“Logistically, for them to play in the Tri-Nations is pretty tricky as most of their players play in Europe, so fitting in Tests in July and August would be hard.

“Geographically that would be the natural fit but logistically it would probably be easier for them to play in the Six Nations in Europe, where their players play – but where would they play?

“People have talked about Spain but would that help the game grow in Argentina?

“If you want to grow a sport, exposure to it at the top level is what you want to achieve. I think you need a more regular tournament.

“The Home Nations players have the Six Nations, the Tri-Nations players have their tournament.

“Argentina probably got better during the World Cup because they were playing and training together more often, whereas the Tri Nations and Six Nations boys probably play 10 or 12 Tests a year.”

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