Argentina want in on Super Rugby action
September 14, 2013
Graham Henry believes Argentina can improve significantly with better development pathways © Getty Images
World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry says Argentina need to have a team in the Super Rugby competition if they are to ever flourish on the international stage.
Argentina doesn't have a professional domestic competition, forcing most of their best players to ply their trade in Europe. The Pumas are currently ranked 10th in the world but Henry believes they will improve dramatically once they create a better development pathway
Henry, who is a coaching adviser for the Pumas for this year's Rugby Championship, said having Argentinean players join European clubs wasn't the answer.
"The clubs in Europe are starting to get frustrated," Henry said ahead of Saturday night's clash with the Wallabies in Perth. "Last year when Argentina toured Europe, they had Test matches against Wales, France, and Ireland, and they had a different team every time because players were only released for one Test match by their clubs.
"So it makes it bloody difficult. They haven't got a foundation underneath this team. There's no professional rugby at home. After the World Cup in 2015, there's strong talk about extending the Super Rugby competition, and hopefully Argentina will be included. I don't know if the money would be as good, but these guys need to be playing in that competition."
The Super Rugby competition currently consists of teams from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, but SANZAR is considering including other countries down the track.
Henry, who also worked with Argentina in last year's Rugby Championship, is impressed by the Pumas' defensive efforts. And he's starting to see improvements in attack.
"They've always been good without the ball, but not so good with the ball," said Henry, who coached the All Blacks to the 2011 IRB World Cup title. "Now they're starting to get better with the ball. I think they feel good about that."