Argentina will make a surprise appearance in the 2009 Currie Cup series, according to a report in Sunday’s Afrikaans newspaper Sondag.
According to the report, Saru president Oregan Hoskins has confirmed that an invitation has gone out to Argentina to form part of the Currie Cup next year as part of the on-going commitment to give them more rugby exposure.
As many of their players are contracted in Europe, Argentina’s side will only be made up of players based in the country, and will start off their matches in the First Division before moving up to the Premier Division where they may also get the right to host Currie Cup games in South America.
Hoskins told the newspaper the revolutionary plan was discussed at the IRB’s conference in Woking last year and that SA Rugby were currently looking for ways of hosting the Argentineans in a cost effective manner.
“We are currently looking at costs and different parts of the country where we can perhaps base the team at the moment,” Hoskins told Sondag.
“We will have to host them in South Africa until they can get a good business plan together and it is commercially viable to host games in Argentina.
We thought we need to start them in the First Division of the Currie Cup so that they can find their feet. “It will also be a wonderful opportunity to give our smaller unions a chance to play against some strong international competition.”
Argentina’s national side is due to play Tests against the Tri Nations rugby unions this year, with a game against the World Champion Springboks planned as a celebration for former State President Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday in August.
“South Africa have always been intimately involved with the development of Argentinean rugby, and we hope this will help them develop to be a world power in the future.”
Sapa – CurrieCupRugby.com