Some exciting developments in Americas Rugby, and the first edition of the Oceania Rugby Cup finishes up.
The Americas Rugby Championship is the Americas equivalent of the Six Nations. It has been contested in it’s current form since 2016. The tournament consists of Argentina XV, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Uruguay, & USA. Argentina XV is Argentinas 2nd team.
We often here debate about whether promotion and relegation should be brought in to the Six Nations between the lower tiers, which is something I am in favour of. The ARC have made the progressive step of including promotion and relegation starting in 2020. From now the winner of the Americas Rugby Challenge, the 2nd tier, will play the bottom side in the Americas Rugby Championship in a playoff. The Challenge consists of Colombia, Paraguay, Mexico, and now the Cayman Islands who beat Guyana in the repechage. The most likely scenario would be Chile playing Colombia in the PlayOff.
There is also the possibility of a third tier, which would consist of Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela, Costa Rica, & Guatemala. This would possibly be called the Americas Rugby Trophy or Shield.
It’s great to see Americas rugby create more opportunities for lower ranked teams, particularly now as the ARC will act as World Cup Qualifiers going forward, with the top two teams (not counting Argentina XV) qualifying as Americas 1 & 2.
Thanks to Paul Tait (@Argentina_2027) of Americas Rugby News for providing me with information on these developments. Make sure to have a look at Americas
Rugby News for more.
Colombia won this years Americas Rugby Challenge. They beat Paraguay 54 – 15 in their final game, and are unbeaten in the two additions of the competition. Elsewhere Mexico beat Cayman Islands 105 – 17. This was the first time Las Serpientes scored more than 100 points in a game, and beat their previous biggest win of 96 – 0 over Turks & Caicos Islands in 2014. Mexico finished 2nd, with Paraguay 3rd, and Cayman Islands 4th.
Elsewhere, Uruguay named their World Cup squad, with all 31 players being born and raised in Uruguay.
Another great example of more games being provided for lower tier nations was the Oceania Rugby Cup. Papua New Guinea won this years tournament winning a Grand Slam. Nauru made their international mens rugby debut in the tournament which took place in Papua New Guinea. There is talk of expanding this tournament in the future to include
Oceania Rugby Cup Results:
Friday August 23rd
Papua New Guinea 89 – 5 Nauru
Solomon Islands 17 – 19 Niue Island
Tuesday August 27th
Papua New Guinea 29 – 10 Niue Island
Solomon Islands 61 – 7 Nauru
Saturday 31st August
Niue Island 87 – 0 Nauru
Papua New Guinea 15 – 13 Solomon Islands
In terms of the World Cup Samoa named their squad, including 2 uncapped players in prop Michael Alaalatoa and scrum-half Scott Malolua. Fiji beat Tonga 29 – 19 in their final World Cup warm-up. Fijian coach John McKee praised his sides defensive performance.
Namibia continued their World Cup preparations with a 28 – 22 win over Southern Kings. Plato, Van Jaarsvelf, and Janties scored tries with Steenkamp and Loubser offering conversions. This win comes a week after Namibia comfortably beat Sharks Invitation XV,
The Victoria Cup continued throughout the month. Zimbabwe remain top of the table having won all their games so far. Zambia are yet to win a game, but did pick up a losing bonus point against Uganda.
Victoria Cup Results:
Saturday August 3rd
Zimbabwe 30 – 29 Kenya
Saturday August 17th
Uganda 38 – 22 Zambia
Saturday August 24th
Kenya 31 – 16 Zambia
Zimbabwe 32 – 26 Uganda
Saturday August 31st
Zambia 28 – 35 Uganda
Saturday September 14th
Zambia v Zimbabwe
Saturday September 21st
Kenya v Zimbabwe
Ciarán is the Producer and Presenter of Post to Post Sport (@PostToPostSport), a sports podcast that covers rugby, football, wrestling, and Irish Sport News. You can get their podcasts on MixCloud our Spotify (Search PostToPostSport) and PlayerFM (Post to Post Sport).