On Thursday, SANZAAR confirmed that South Africa decided not to play the Personal Rugby Championship 2020, which also has as participants Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. Major factors include South African government travel restrictions, player welfare and safety concerns. In turn, the continuing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on players playing in South Africa, and also on clubs in the UK and Europe, also played a role.
Therefore, Los Pumas will only play four games in a fixture that now presents them with a debut against the All Blacks, on Saturday, November 14, at Bankwest Stadium, Sydney. Then, seven days later, the team led by Mario Ledesma will face the locals in the city of Newcastle, and Saturday, November 28 He will do the same again against the men in black, also in the same location, more precisely at McDonald Jones Stadium. The National Team will complete their stay in the tournament, when the Saturday, December 5 He faces the Wallabies in Sydney.
Marcelo Rodríguez, president of the Argentine Rugby UnionHe said: «We regret the loss of South Africa in a competition that we had fought a lot for so that it can be played between the four countries. Numerous meetings, different points of view, with the dynamism and uncertainty that the COVID context brought with it but with the certainty of always wanting to play it, understanding the health measures imposed by the authorities of New Zealand and Australia, countries that appeared as candidates for host competition. In the case of the UAR, enormous efforts were made to be able to participate in this tournament. Despite this, we respect the decision of the SARU ”.
For its part, Fernando Rizzi, Secretary of the UAR, explained: «Undoubtedly, this will generate a significant impact on the income of SANZAAR and the Argentine Rugby Union, due to issues related to obligations with television and sponsors. One of the most important competitions in the world was completely affected, mainly by COVID 19 “.
Then, Rizzi added: “We are aware that from the UAR we do not forget the historical support and the selfless effort of the SARU to open doors for us, to be able to participate in different competitions such as the Vodacom Cup (four seasons) and the First Division of the Currie Cup (2019). We continue to be in permanent contact with them, analyzing their participation in the Currie Cup 2021, which shows that our relationship of several years remains intact, despite these extraordinary circumstances ”.
As for the situation in 2021, the president of the UAR referred: “We will continue talking among all the members of SANZAAR, to continue working together looking for the best alternatives for 2021, which will be a year of transition. What if it is clear that it is the 12 games of Los Pumas have been confirmed five years from now ”.
“We know that Los Pumas are now preparing this Tri Nations, also at a disadvantage in terms of filming and pace of play, but always with the grit and self-love that characterized them. It is in adversity when Argentine teams, in this case Los Pumas, show their love for this sport, “he concluded.
Source: UAR Press.