Reds coach endorses Jaguares in Super Rugby
Brisbane - Reds
coach Brad Thorn says Super Rugby teams should embrace the challenge of
playing the Jaguares, who have faced flak for fielding what is
essentially the Argentinian national team.
The franchise headed into their clash with the Reds on Saturday
defending themselves from calls to be booted out of the competition for
having an unfair advantage with so many Pumas in their ranks.
But All Blacks great Thorn said less experienced players could only benefit from facing quality opposition.
"There's a lot of Test players, but good, bring it on, let's have a
Test match," he told reporters after the Jaguares proved too good in a
The Argentinians made a host of changes for the match, but were able
to call on an experienced selection of reserve forwards to ensure
victory after a tight first half.
"It's good competition, they can bring some Test players off the bench and we embrace that," said Thorn.
"Yeah, it had an impact on the game but I like my guys mixing with
that. Taste it, embrace it, learn from it and get better from it.
"We want to play them. We weren't quite ready for them but where we're going, I don't want any of those good teams going away."
The Jaguares, the only team from Argentina in the southern hemisphere tournament, have emerged as a force this year.
They have won seven out of their last eight to top the South African
conference by six points with two games to play, keeping them on track
for a first-ever home quarter-final in Buenos Aires.
On Friday, coach Gonzalo Quesada described calls for them to be
kicked out of Super Rugby as "disappointing" and denied they had an
It followed Wallabies great Phil Kearns claiming the team was a de
facto national side and had "hoodwinked" governing body SANZAAR, giving
Argentina an edge by regularly playing together heading into this year's
"We don't have enough players to have more than one franchise," said
"We don't have the infrastructure or players. We struggle to
have a competitive team and that's the reality."
Reds captain Samu Kerevi also threw his support behind keeping the Jaguares in Super Rugby.
"You don't want those type of teams going away, you want to mix it with them. It's an awesome challenge out there," he said.