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Argentina: "Amateurism = success"

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Prestwick

Guest
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_unio...ish/7027567.stm

Les Cusworth, English Director of Rugby for the UAR explains that it is precisely because Argentina has stayed an outpost of amateurism that they've climbed to be the 4th best rugby nation in the world:

We have 60,000 people playing rugby in Argentina and 82 clubs in the Buenos Aires province alone. There are 400 Argentine players playing rugby in Europe. If you take 400 top players out of the Home Nations, what would be left?

The real reason we are all here is for kids to be playing the game. If we encourage them just to play for the provincial sides, you have 3% in the elite. What about the other 97%?

[/b]

Big Les also wants the nation he works for to be in the Six Nations rather than the Tri nations:

Where is this game going, where do we want it to be in 30 years time? Do we just want a Six Nations or a Tri-Nations? What a stagnant game we will have if that is the case.

It would be better for us to be in the Six Nations. We could base ourselves in Brussels, Valencia, Madrid, wherever.

If we are included it will benefit the incumbents. Let's get into the cosy club. The International Rugby Board have been very supportive about our case but they are not the stakeholders. The stakeholders are the Six Nations Committee.[/b]
 
D

dafadau

Guest
So the Celtic nations should abandon our national leagues and send all out best players to paly in england or france?

Hmmmmm.
 
P

Prestwick

Guest
I think he meant you shouldn't have butchered your amateur game as much as you did.

Look at what Dave Moffet said about how poor the game is performing underneath the 4 provincial teams.
 
S

shazbooger

Guest
I think he meant you shouldn't have butchered your amateur game as much as you did.[/b]
To be fair to the celtic nations ............... well especially Ireland, we didnt have a choice.

The only way we could play professional rugby from Ireland was through the established provincial setups. It was either that, or watch the Irish game fall further and further away from the rest of the world. We didnt have the finances to support a league of 10-12 professional teams. If we tried we would have either gone bankrupt (as nearly happened in Wales) or ended up semi-professional. A semi professional setup would have meant we wouldnt have any competitive sides playing in our own country. As it is, we have complete control of our key players and the Irish fans get to see them week in week out playing for Irish teams. Regardless of what happens over the next 10 year, at elast they went about trying to do it the right way.

The argentinian model (its hardly a model) effectively gives control of all their key players to professional clubs in Europe. Their local game is completely amateur but given the size of their player base, the quality will always come through.

Problem is, it will be snapped up by European sides and the home fans will probably never see them again. It may be effective for the international team, but it not really condusive to growing the game at home. Hardly something to be admired.
 
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snoopy snoopy dog dog

Guest
I think he meant you shouldn't have butchered your amateur game as much as you did. [/b]
In Ireland's case, it's the fault of the clubs themselves. The IRFU have tried to change the structure behind the pro sides on numerous occasions but have consistently been vetoed. As a result traditional clubs are beginning to struggle while new clubs in non traditional rugby areas are thriving.
 
P

Prestwick

Guest
The argentinian model (its hardly a model) effectively gives control of all their key players to professional clubs in Europe. Their local game is completely amateur but given the size of their player base, the quality will always come through.

Problem is, it will be snapped up by European sides and the home fans will probably never see them again. It may be effective for the international team, but it not really condusive to growing the game at home. Hardly something to be admired. [/b]

It doesn't seem to bother them really. I think we're looking at this the wrong way. I think the Argentinian public just turns up to games in Argentina just to watch the sport. They don't really care if big name players go up north or to any of the S14 franchises because that is acknowledged to be the desirable way towards getting a place in the national team and getting some money. In a place where there is no professional league, you don't get things such as club fans being jealous of the national union or other national leagues stealing players.

I don't think Les was referring to Ireland because in a way, they haven't really changed except that they pay their players. Nothing has really changed that has put the traditional amateur clubs noses out of joint there. It is in Wales and Scotland where the wholesale destruction has taken place.
 
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snoopy snoopy dog dog

Guest
I don't think Les was referring to Ireland because in a way, they haven't really changed except that they pay their players. Nothing has really changed that has put the traditional amateur clubs noses out of joint there. It is in Wales and Scotland where the wholesale destruction has taken place.
[/b]
At the start of the professional era, there was a fair amount of club versus province debate. The provinces only got together for maybe 6 or 7 games per year whereas the AIL was thriving with large attendences. The IRFU imposed the provinces as the entrants to the Heineken Cup out of a fear that the clubs, however well supported, wouldn't be competitive. They were right but this is probably the point at which the union and clubs fall out began.
 
H

HarryPeters

Guest
I think it would be a shock to the 6 Nations if Argentina came in. It would be great, but I think they might have more competitive games in the Tri-Nations.
 
B

BokMagic

Guest
Well it might have been very successful to date in this RWC, but in the long term, it`s just not sustainable. If you look at this current Argie side, you have a core of world-class grizzled veterans like Pichot, Contepomi, Ledesma, Lobbe, Hasan etc. They`re all blokes in their mid-30`s, and all have played for several years in the top NH professional leagues. But the majority of them won`t be seeing RWC2011, which means that the next wave of players will have to come through then. So if the Argies are satisfied with one tremendous RWC every 8 or 12 years, yes then the current setup is fine.

Basically, I still believe that for Argie rugby to achieve it`s full potential on a sustainable basis, they need a proper professional domestic structure. That`s the only way to get your talented youngsters from the age-group levels up to speed for international duty. It`s also the only way to build proper depth. If you look at the 2 favourites to make this year`s final, NZ and SA have proved over the last few seasons that they can still win even without 5 or so of their regular 1st-choice stars. Take 4 or 5 of the Argie key men out of the equation, and they won`t be nearly as good.

For the greater good of Argie rugby, they need to join either the six nations or the tri nations asap. But I`m leaning towards the tri nations, for the simple fact that, if done correctly, such a deal will include 1 or 2 Argie teams for the domestic super 14/16/20. If they could get just a couple of their Euro-based stars to play for said club/franchise, and fill up the squads with home-grown talent, in the long term it`ll advance Argie rugby beyond measure. Hell, in 5-10 years time, they might even be seriously challenging for the no.1 world ranking. But they just won`t achieve that consistently by sticking with their current structures.
 
P

Prestwick

Guest
.... But the majority of them won`t be seeing RWC2011, which means that the next wave of players will have to come through then. So if the Argies are satisfied with one tremendous RWC every 8 or 12 years, yes then the current setup is fine.[/b]

You see, I really think that they would be satisfied with one tremendous RWC ever 8 or so years because they just watch it for the fun.

There seems to be a fundemental difference between how Rugby in Argentina is structured and viewed by the population and how rugby in the professional world is structured and viewed.

In the traditional Six Nations and Tri Nations, every effort is geared towards producing as high a quality of international squad as possible. Everything that these nations do is to make sure that the best players are in their best condition at the right time and are wearing the national jersey when it counts. Things like payments towards clubs, central contracting, franchising over private ownership, elite directors of rugby directing operations; all of this is geared towards getting the greatest potential out of the nation's stock of rugby players as possible.

Argentina's approach seems very, very strange to us because it blatantly flies in the face of all of this. They have a sprawling amateur system with little direction only to send a few players north or to the Super 14 every once in a while. Their system of management verges on that of a Communist International (better call Ripper, he'd love this) and as a result things happen very slowly in Argentina.

Why are they doing this? We ask each other and ourselves, don't they know that if they continue like this it might be a whole decade before they can truly challenge for the World Cup again?!

I think Argentina do know this, but they've had the benefit of watching the pitfalls of professionalism or quasi-professionalism across the developed rugby world. And they don't like it one bit. They like their amateur clubs, they like the fact that they can watch players running out onto the pitch playing for nothing than for pride for the jersey and for the game.

And you know what? Because we've been so obsessed with professionalisation and have been so obsessed with performance targets, minimum standards for performing in competitions, developing squads to get the best possible levels of talent, stregnth and endurance out of the players..and most importantly, to make the most amount of money to finance all of this, that we've forgotten just how great amateur rugby used to be.

Today, every facet of rugby in the top ten (apart from Argentina) is big business. Even the smaller national club competitions in Wales, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand are marketed, sponsored chopped and changed by advertisers, broadcasters and administrators all looking to make a quick buck. Ladies and Gents, we may all pay lip service to the old Amateur days, but do we really realise how nice and easy those days used to be like? Do you remember a time when competitions used to be about rugby and pride in the jersey without even a murmur about financing, profits or investment or, actually, anything financial at all?

Now Bok, I agree with you, if Argentina do want to compete on a regular basis both year on year and in a world cup, they'll have to turn to a professional system. But you have to look at what the Argentinians are struggling to protect and ask yourself: is it really worth it?
 
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BokMagic

Guest
I hear what you`re saying Prestwick, but I`m really struggling to get my brain around it.

During my playing days, which has certainly been mostly in the amateur structures if not entirely within the amateur era, yes the greatest joy was obviously just the participation factor. The only thing that could possibly beat the post-match beers and other rituals, was possibly hanging on in the last 10 minutes, up by 2 points but down by a player and under the cosh, holding out deep inside your 22, and then hearing the final whistle.

But even then, even at primary school level even, wasn`t the object always to win? I mean, that`s the reason why we all play or watch this great game, isn`t it? Even in the amateur era. And, once again, while playing even at u/6 level, why did we go through all of those fitness and technique drills? Just to get together for a little bit of running and tackling, and then a good laugh afterwards? No my good man, we trained hard at every level, simply because we wanted to give ourselves every single opportunity to win our matches.

I just can`t see how you can go through all of the training necessary to compete at any level of rugby, if you do not hope to put yourself into the best possible position to win matches. An amateur structure just won`t give you that in the long term in professional sport, period.
 
P

Prestwick

Guest
Yes but the amateur way brings with it maximum enjoyment and fun. And i think it is here where the confusion starts.

i dont think the argentines 'get' our system because the endless grind for results kills off the fun for them. I dont think we 'get' their system because we have lost the link between having fun and getting the result.
 
A

asado

Guest
There seems to be a fundemental difference between how Rugby in Argentina is structured and viewed by the population and how rugby in the professional world is structured and viewed.

In the traditional Six Nations and Tri Nations, every effort is geared towards producing as high a quality of international squad as possible. Everything that these nations do is to make sure that the best players are in their best condition at the right time and are wearing the national jersey when it counts. Things like payments towards clubs, central contracting, franchising over private ownership, elite directors of rugby directing operations; all of this is geared towards getting the greatest potential out of the nation's stock of rugby players as possible.

Argentina's approach seems very, very strange to us because it blatantly flies in the face of all of this. They have a sprawling amateur system with little direction only to send a few players north or to the Super 14 every once in a while. Their system of management verges on that of a Communist International (better call Ripper, he'd love this) and as a result things happen very slowly in Argentina.

Why are they doing this? We ask each other and ourselves, don't they know that if they continue like this it might be a whole decade before they can truly challenge for the World Cup again?!

I think Argentina do know this, but they've had the benefit of watching the pitfalls of professionalism or quasi-professionalism across the developed rugby world. And they don't like it one bit. They like their amateur clubs, they like the fact that they can watch players running out onto the pitch playing for nothing than for pride for the jersey and for the game.

[/b]

I think there are some part of truth in what you say but isn't really showing the whole picture, Rugby had always been a very traditional sport linked to the upper classes in Argentina. The management people in the UAR (Union Argentina de Rugby - Argentinean Rugby Union) are not going in the same direction as the players and some part of the fans that really want to introduce professionalism since some time ago. Actually from the very beginning of pro era UAR has been against professionalism and players who made the switch to professionalism in other leagues were even BANNED from playing with los Pumas. It's a difficult situation ... there are different groups with completely opposite opinions ... actually an year ago or so the pro Puma players went on to strike (mainly but not only) to demand money for supporting the amateur players in argentinean league. The UAR is a very traditional union founded in 1899 ...
 
G

Gillou

Guest
Here is the Argentinian selection and were they played last season

Props
Hasan Omar : Stade Toulousain (France)
Roncero Rodrigo : Stade Francais (France)
Scelzo Martin : ASM Clermont (France)
Ayerza Marcos : Leicester Tigers (England)
Bonorino Santiago : Almaviva Capitolina (Italy)
Hookers
Ledesma Mario : ASM Clermont (France)
Vernet Basualdo Alberto : Alumni (Argentina) played 94 min
Second row
Fernandez-Llobbe Ignacio : Sale Sharks (England)
Alvarez-Kairelis Rimas : USA Perpignan (France)
Lozada Esteban : CA San Isidro (Argentina) played 35 min
Albacete Patricio : Stade Toulousain (France)
Third row
Longo Gonzalo : ASM Clermont (France)
Durand Martin : Montpellier RC (France)
Leguizamon Juan Manuel : London Irish (England)
Schusterman Martin : Leeds Carnegie (England)
Ostiglia Lucas : SU Agen (France)
Fernandez-Llobe Juan Martin : Sale Sharks (England)
Scrum Half
Pichot Agustin : Stade Francais (France)
Fernandez Miranda Nicolas : Aviron Bayonnais (France)
Fly Half
Hernandez Juan Martin : Stade Francais (France)
Todeschini Federico : Montpellier RC (France)
Centre
Contepomi Felipe : Leinster (Ireland)
Martin Aramburu Federico : USA Perpignan (France)
Tiesi Gonzalo : London Irish (England)
Contepomi Manuel : Rugby Rovigo (Italy)
Wing
Agulla Horacio : Hindù Club (Argentina) played 240 min
Borges Lucas : Stade Francais (France)
Senillosa Hernan : Hindù Club (Argentina) played 107 min
Full Back
Corleto Ignacio : Stade Francais (France)
Serra Miras Federico : CA San Isidro (Argentina) played 15 min

Vernet will play for Stade Toulousain next season and Lozada for RC Toulon
Senillosa played for Clermont (2004-2006)

The only "amateur succes" is Agulla
I Think he will not stay in Argentina for a long time
 
R

Rikeka

Guest
Serra also plays in Arg (he is all against prof rugby), he was tempted quite a few times by Euro teams, though (I know, I`ve studied with him)

As for the rest of all those players... where do you think they came from? From our amateur league, ofc.

As for the amateurism debate... I like our current system. It`s perfect for us (the fans). We enjoy the games quite a lot, and we can see that the players too enjoy the game and are not just there for the money... Any argentinian player would kill to be a Puma, and not because of the money, but because they truly enjoy the game, they truly enjoy representing their country. Anyway, you`ll probably not understand this, since you guys have lived under a prof era for far too long (not trying to sound a wiseass, it`s just a bit impossible for you guys to get it, as well as it would be for me to understand your system, and why you like it)

No my good man, we trained hard at every level, simply because we wanted to give ourselves every single opportunity to win our matches.
[/b]

I`m not trying to be disrespectfull or anything, but this is exactly why you`ll never get it.
 
B

BokMagic

Guest
Fair point Riketa. From my side, I`d just like to add that there were definately a lot of areas where rugby were actually better during the amateur era. The enjoyment issue has already been raised, but there were also other benefits, such as touring. These days, a tour basically consists of 2-4 test matches, and no midweek games, placing the touring side at a very big disadvantage.

Then there was the spirit of sporsmanship. You NEVER saw players taking football-style dives in rugby back in the amateur days. There was also the spirit of what happens on the field, stays on the field. No soundbites from the coaches before a match, thank you very much. And popping into the opposition changeroom after the game for a beer or 20, well that`s unheard of in the professional era.

But one point in favour of the professional era, is one you`ve already touched on- the whole class system. Make no mistake, back in the days of amateurism, rugby was an elitist sport. If you wanted to play at the highest level, for love and not money, well you`d have to find a way to survive financially touring for 3 months without any income. Which is why you saw so many doctors, dentists, lawyers and successful farmers playing test rugby during amateurism- simply because you could appoint a locum or manager to keep things going. In the amateur system, rugby will always be an elitist game, and football alway the people`s game.

Two different systems completely, both with advantages and disadvantages I guess.
 
L

Little Richardjohn

Guest
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_unio...ish/7027567.stm

Les Cusworth, English Director of Rugby for the UAR explains that it is precisely because Argentina has stayed an outpost of amateurism that they've climbed to be the 4th best rugby nation in the world:

We have 60,000 people playing rugby in Argentina and 82 clubs in the Buenos Aires province alone. There are 400 Argentine players playing rugby in Europe. If you take 400 top players out of the Home Nations, what would be left?

The real reason we are all here is for kids to be playing the game. If we encourage them just to play for the provincial sides, you have 3% in the elite. What about the other 97%?

[/b]

Big Les also wants the nation he works for to be in the Six Nations rather than the Tri nations:

Where is this game going, where do we want it to be in 30 years time? Do we just want a Six Nations or a Tri-Nations? What a stagnant game we will have if that is the case.

It would be better for us to be in the Six Nations. We could base ourselves in Brussels, Valencia, Madrid, wherever.

If we are included it will benefit the incumbents. Let's get into the cosy club. The International Rugby Board have been very supportive about our case but they are not the stakeholders. The stakeholders are the Six Nations Committee.[/b]
[/b]
Professional Rugby Union is still a sport in its infancy. We don't even know yet conclusively whether god meant rugby to be played this way. Can the human body actually take the punishment..?

So it seems logical that the most demanding sporting test of the human body should need to look at radical solutions to enable it to be sustainable across the generations of ever larger, faster, and professionally meaner players.

What long trem suggestions would the thread make?
 
P

Prestwick

Guest
What long trem suggestions would the thread make? [/b]

Cut off Shalk Burger's arms to stop him from making those stupid and dagerously high tackles.
 
B

BokMagic

Guest
.. or trample all over all Catts still trying to play this game....

Oh yeah, almost forgot- somebody already done that! :p
 
3

36crazyfist

Guest
.. or trample all over all Catts still trying to play this game....

Oh yeah, almost forgot- somebody already done that! :p
[/b]

hehe...

i agree with both bokm and prestw...

amateur rugby is more about fun, but the aim is still to win. "real" professional players are nurtured and matured from a young age. in the top rugby playing countries, kids get pulled in from a young age to see to that they become great players. francois steyn spent some time at the Murray Mexted Academy. every bit helps.

problem in argentina is that you've got great amateur players, but unfortunately there is no way of them becoming really great players unless they move to europe etc.

to get them moving faster, irb need to put a hell of a lot more money into developing the game in countries where the game is relatively new, and tell the big nations to find their on sponsors. they've already got the names and trophies, might as well get their own sponsors.

the big nations should also rather go play games in argentina etc, to help promote the game, rather than them having to fly around the world to play games.
 

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