Argentina national rugby union team
|Union||Unión Argentina de Rugby|
|Most caps||Felipe Contepomi (87) |
|Top scorer||Felipe Contepomi (651) |
|Most tries||José María Núñez Piossek (30)|
| Argentina 3 – 28 British Lions
(12 June 1910)
| Argentina 152–0 Paraguay
(1 May 2002)
| New Zealand 93 – 8 Argentina
(21 June 1997)
|Appearances||8/8 (First in 1987)|
|Best result||Third place, 2007|
The Argentina national rugby team, nicknamed Los Pumas, represents Argentina in international rugby union matches. The team, which plays in sky blue and white jerseys, is organised by the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR, from the Spanish: Unión Argentina de Rugby).
Argentina played its first international rugby match in 1910 against a touring British Isles team. As of November 2015 they are ranked 5th in the world by the IRB, making them the highest-ranked nation in the Americas. They have competed at every Rugby World Cup staged since the inaugural tournament of 1987, and the country may be considered the strongest within the Americas in all-time World Cup competition, undefeated against all but Canada, against whom they have suffered three losses.
Although rugby union is nowhere near as popular as football in Argentina, Los Pumas' impressive results since the 1999 World Cup have seen the sport's popularity grow significantly. Argentina has achieved several upset victories, are tough contenders when playing in Buenos Aires, and are fully capable of regularly defeating Six Nations sides. A surprise victory over the hosts France in the first game of the 2007 World Cup took Argentina to fourth in the IRB World Rankings. The team were undefeated in their pool, and reached the semi-finals for the first time, beating Scotland 19–13 in their quarter-final. They were defeated 37–13 by eventual winners South Africa in the semi-finals, but followed this up with a second win over France to claim third place overall.
In March 2008 the team reached an all-time high of third in the IRB World Rankings.
After their advances in competitiveness and performance during the 2000s, coupled with their location in the Southern Hemisphere, Argentina was the only tier 1 nation that had no regular competition, and some, among them former Pumas captain Agustín Pichot, have even spoken of them joining the Six Nations. Argentina officially joined The Rugby Championship in a meeting in Buenos Aires on November 23, 2011. where in their first tournament in 2012, Argentina secured a 16–16 draw with The Springboks in only their second game.
The 2014 Rugby Championship saw the first Championship-match win for Argentina who defeated Australia 21–17.,. 2015 proved to be a very successful year for Argentinian rugby, as the last match of the 2015 Rugby Championship was Argentina's first ever win over South Africa, where the Pumas defeated the Springboks 37–25 in Durban, and reached another semifinal at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
- 1 History
- 2 Colours, symbol and name
- 3 Home grounds
- 4 Record
- 5 Players
- 6 Coaches
- 7 Individual all-time records
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The first rugby union match in Argentina was played in 1873, the game having been brought to Argentina by British immigrants. In 1899, four clubs in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, joined together to form the River Plate Rugby Football Union. In 1910 a side managed by Oxford University – supposedly the England national team, but including three Scottish players — toured Argentina as part of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Revolución de Mayo: the people of Argentina termed it the "Combined British", also known as "Great Britain XV". Argentina made its international debut against this team under the name "The River Plate Rugby Football Union" on 12 June. The match was played at Belgrano Athletic field and Argentina lost 28–3. The only try for the local team was scored by C.J. McCarthy of Belgrano Athletic. The Argentina line-up was: Saffery, MacCarthy, Gebbie, Bovet, Donnelly, Gribell, Hayman, Heatlie, Henrys, Heriot, Mold, Reid, Sawyer, Watson and Talbot, being all of them descendant of British immigrants.
In 1927 the British Isles Lions toured Argentina for second time, with the Lions winning all nine encounters; the tour did however become a financial success for Argentine rugby. Of the nine encounters, four tests were played, which Argentina lost by over 30 points in all. All the games took place in Buenos Aires. The important fact was that all the players on the field were Argentine-born.
Five years passed until another international team would return to Argentina, which would be the Junior Springboks in 1932, playing a two match series. Argentina lost both matches.
In 1936 the British Isles visited Argentina again, winning all ten of their matches and only conceding nine points in the whole tour. Only one test was played on the tour, with Argentina losing 23–0. The following month Argentina left the country to play their first away tests – against Chile in Valparaiso. Argentina won the first test (and their first game), 29–0. The second match was won by a similar margin. Two years later Argentina hosted Chile, which resulted in Argentina winning by 30 points.
At the first South American tournament, in 1951, Argentina accounted for Uruguay 62–0, Brazil 72–0 and win against Chile by 13–3.
At the second South American tournament, in 1958, Argentina accounted for Uruguay 50–3 and Peru 44–0, And finally Argentina emerged victorious against the hosts Chile in Santiago, by 14–0. In 1959 the Junior Springboks returned to Buenos Aires, winning both fixtures 14–6, and 20–5.
1960s: "Los Pumas"
In 1960, France visited Buenos Aires for a three match series against Argentina. The hosts still could not get their first win over the French, with France winning all three tests 37–3, 12–3 and 29–6. The following year Argentina again showed their dominance on a continental level, winning the South American tournament held in Montevideo, by beating Brazil 60–0, Uruguay 36–3 and Chile 11–3. In 1964 a new version of the South American tournament was played in San Pablo and Argentina again achieved huge victories over Uruguay (25–6), Brazil (30–5) and Chile (30–8)
In the late 1960s the four home unions began tours to Argentina, and after Wales struggled in both Tests in Buenos Aires in 1967 it became clear that Argentina would be a difficult place to win a series. Scotland lost the first test in 1968, but won a close second test two weeks later.
The first trip of the Argentina national rugby team to the other side of the Atlantic was to Rhodesia and South Africa in 1965. The team acquired the nickname "Pumas", from a local journalist after their first tour match, a defeat on 8 May by Rhodesia in Salisbury 17–12. The book "Be Pumas" recalls the Wackley Farmer of Rhodesia magazine commenting on the emblem embroidered on the tourists' jerseys was like a puma – rather than a jaguar. After defeats by Salisbury and Northern Transvaal, the first win came against Western Transvaal, another against South West Africa Country Districts and finally against the Southern Universities. The Pumas scored a landmark win of 11–6 against the Junior Springboks. They were welcomed home to Buenos Aires by a huge crowd; the tour had harvested 11 victories, one draw and four defeats over two months. A match was then organised against the French champions Section Paloise, although the match was remembered for the uproar and misconduct of both teams rather than the Argentine victory. Then Oxford & Cambridge arrived, a team that the Pumas had never beaten. The first match finished level at 19–19 and the second saw the University students triumph 9–3. 1965 ended with a match against Chile, which the Pumas won 23–11.
In 1966, the Gazelles arrived, a kind of a Junior Springboks B team. The visitors took two victories 9–3 and 20–15. In September 1967, Argentina played in Buenos Aires in the South American Championship with victories over Uruguay 38–6 and Chile 18–0. Wales arrived in Buenos Aires in 1968 and for the first time in their history the Pumas were able to triumph in a series, winning the first match 9–5 and drawing the second 9–9. The first great decade in Argentine rugby came to a close with the arrival of Scotland in 1969. The first match saw a big Argentine victory 20–3, but in the second game the visitors narrowly won 6–3.
1970s and 1980s
Through the 1970s, Argentina confirmed its steady rise towards top-tier status under the influence of its first truly world-class player, fly-half Hugo Porta. During their European tour in 1976, the Pumas came tantalizingly close to a historic victory at Cardiff Arms Park over Wales, then the dominant force in the Northern Hemisphere. Only a Phil Bennett penalty on a foul by Gabriel Travaglini at the death allowed the Welsh to escape with a 20–19 victory. Two years later Argentina returned for their 1978 European tour and held a virtually full-strength England XV to a 13–13 draw before losing 6–19 to Italy. From the late seventies to the early nineties, Argentina never lost the two matches of a series held in Buenos Aires, in a period that included victories against France, England, Australia and a 21–21 tie to the All Blacks, which is probably the most important result ever obtained by the Pumas, thanks to an outstanding performance by Hugo Porta who scored all of Argentina's points.
Late 20th century
By the time the first Rugby World Cup was held in Australia and New Zealand, in 1987, Argentines were confident their national team would at least make it to quarter-finals. However, an unexpected loss to Fiji prevented the team from clinching the first round. Argentina won their first ever World Cup game when they defeated Italy in Christchurch.
Over the following years, the retirement of many of Argentina's most experienced players, and the defection of many others to professional leagues (rugby union is still an amateur sport in Argentina and UAR's regulations of the time prevented any player who played professionally from playing for the national team) left Argentina with an inexperienced side. This led to disappointing performances in the 1991 and 1995 World Cups, although in the latter Argentina presented a powerful pack which was praised by the international media. Argentina's tighthead prop, Patricio Noriega and hooker, Federico Méndez, went to play in Australia and South Africa respectively after their performance. Noriega even played for the Wallabies.
In 1999, a more experienced and somewhat under-rated Argentina made it to the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time. They had finished second in their group to Wales, and went onto the quarter-final play-offs. After a vibrant 28–24 win against Ireland, they were eliminated by France, 28–47, in the quarter-final. Gonzalo Quesada was the highest overall points scorer in the tournament with 102.
The new millennium
In April 2000, Marcelo Loffreda was appointed coach of Argentina. Argentina participated in the 2003 World Cup, but missed out on progressing to the quarter-finals due to a 15–16 loss to Ireland. Because of the fixture list, Argentina had to play four games in a fortnight, whereas Ireland played the same number of games in four weeks.
In 2004 Argentina showed good form, splitting a midyear two-test home series with Wales. Los Pumas handed defending Six Nations champion France a 24–14 loss in November 2004 at Marseille, before losing 21–19 to Ireland on a last-minute drop goal. After returning to Argentina, the Pumas lost 39–7 to the visiting Springboks; however, the Pumas were without 10 regular starters who had returned to their club teams in Europe.
Perhaps one of the Pumas' best matches of the decade came on 23 May 2005, when they played the British and Irish Lions in Cardiff before the Lions' tour to New Zealand. The Pumas chose a side of second- and third-choice players as 25 players were unavailable due to club commitments. An inspired Pumas performance, combined with lacklustre play by a mostly second-choice Lions side, put Argentina on the verge of a great upset until a Jonny Wilkinson penalty at the death salvaged a 25–25 draw and the Lions avoided a humiliating defeat. When the Springboks returned to Argentina in November of that year at Vélez Sársfield, they faced a much stronger Pumas side, with most of their European-based players present. The Pumas took a 20–16 lead into the half-time break, before fading the second half and losing 34–23. The following week, the Pumas defeated Scotland 23–19 Murrayfield for the Pumas fifth consecutive win over Scotland since 1990.
In the 2006 mid-year tests, Argentina swept Wales in a two-test tour for their first test series win over Wales. Argentina won the first test 27–25, in the first Argentina test in Patagonia. The second test at Vélez Sársfield saw the Pumas win 45–27, Argentina's largest win ever over Wales. Los Pumas next hosted the All Blacks at Vélez Sársfield. The All Blacks survived a Pumas assault in the final minutes to hang on to win 25–19 and to deny Argentina a huge upset. Argentina then defeated Chile 60–13 in Santiago and defeated Uruguay 26–0 at home to qualify for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The 2006 end-of-year Tests began with a bang for Los Pumas, as they handed England a 25–18 defeat at Twickenham, resulting in the fans booing the England team off the pitch. Further success followed for the Pumas, defeating Italy in Rome, and coming within one point of beating France in Paris.
The Sunday Times of London reported in February 2007 that the IRB was brokering a deal with SANZAR, the body that organises the Tri Nations, to admit Los Pumas to the competition. However, The Sunday Times indicated that one of the biggest stumbling blocks was the UAR's commitment to amateurism. By August of that year, it became clear that the competition would not be expanded until the key SANZAR media contract with News Corporation expired in 2010. An IRB spokesman noted the contract, Southern Hemisphere fixture congestion, and the lack of a professional structure in Argentina as reasons that Los Pumas could not be admitted any sooner.
2007 World Cup semifinal
Los Pumas began their final preparation for the 2007 Rugby World Cup with a summer two-test series against visiting Ireland, with a 22–20 win at Santa Fe, and a 16–0 win at Vélez Sársfield. Los Pumas then completed a clean sweep of their mid-year tests with a 24–6 win over Italy in Mendoza. They split their final warmup tests, defeating Chile 70–14 at CASI in Buenos Aires, before losing to Wales 20–27 at Millennium Stadium.
At the World Cup, Los Pumas were drawn into the so-called pool of death, featuring two other teams ranked in the top six in the IRB rankings—Ireland and the hosts France. On top of this, they opened the World Cup at Stade de France against the French, marking the third consecutive World Cup in which they played against the host nation in the World Cup opener. The Pumas took a 17–9 lead into the half, and held on for a surprising 17–12 win. The Pumas subsequently beat Georgia 33–3 at the Stade de Gerland, Lyon. Argentina then beat Namibia 63–3 in Marseille, the biggest winning margin in Argentine World Cup history. They then secured a 30–15 victory against Ireland, which ensured that Argentina topped the group.
Argentina then defeated Scotland 19–13 in the quarter-final at the Stade de France. The Pumas' improbable run towards the Webb Ellis trophy ended in a comprehensive 37–13 defeat by the Springboks in the semi-final at Stade de France. However, the Pumas recovered to beat France for the second time in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, a 34–10 win in the 3rd/4th place playoff. The 3rd place showing for the Pumas in the 2007 Rugby World Cup was Argentina's best ever result in Rugby World Cup history. Argentina's performance marked the first time that a team from outside the Six Nations or Tri Nations competition reached the semifinals of the Rugby World Cup, and gave renewed momentum propelling Argentina towards joining one of those competitions.
During their World Cup run, the normally football-crazed Argentines embraced the Pumas so much that El Superclásico, the Buenos Aires football derby between Boca Juniors and River Plate, was rescheduled so that it would not conflict with the Pumas' quarter-final match. As the only major Spanish language country in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the Pumas also had considerable support from rugby fans in Spain, Uruguay, and other Latin American countries during their impressive five-game winning streak.
After the 2007 World Cup
In November 2007, in the wake of Argentina's World Cup run, the future status of Los Pumas was a key topic of discussion at an IRB conference on the future worldwide growth of the sport. The decisions made at the conference regarding Argentina were:
- The Pumas will play more annual tests, increasing from the previous six tests per year to nine by 2010. The team would play four tests in the June test window, three in November, and two during the Six Nations window in February and March.
- Between 2008 and 2010, Argentina would develop a domestic professional structure, with the goal of having the majority of Argentine professionals playing at home. Sometime around 2012, Los Pumas will then be "fully integrated into the Southern top-flight Rugby playing structure" (read "Tri Nations").
On March 13, 2008, Santiago Phelan was named as the coach of the Argentine rugby union team, filling the vacancy left by Marcelo Loffreda. On 7 June 2008, the Pumas beat Scotland 21–15 in Rosario, Argentina, thus maintaining their position as the third highest ranked team in the IRB rankings.
In June 2009 the British media reported that Argentina were lobbying for the 2013 British and Irish Lions Tour to Australia to incorporate provincial games and test matches in Argentina, but nothing came of this proposal.
2011 Rugby World Cup
World Cup preparations for Los Pumas began with a drawn 1–1 series against the French Barbarians, a 78–15 win against a South American Invitational XV, and a 21–15 victory against the Aviva Premiership club Worcester Warriors. In their only international test warm-up match, Los Pumas lost 28–13 to Wales in Cardiff.
Los Pumas kicked off their 2011 World Cup with a 13–9 loss against England, a match which they led for over 60 minutes. They next beat Romania 43–8. The following match against Scotland decided which team would reach the quarterfinals. A late try by replacement fullback Lucas González Amorosino and a successful conversion meant Los Pumas won 13–12. Argentina finished the pool stage by winning 25–9 against Georgia.
Argentina's final match of the tournament was the quarterfinal against eventual champions All Blacks. In a surprisingly close first half, Argentina led 7–6 after 30 minutes following a try by Julio Farias Cabello. As the game went on, the All Blacks began to dominate, leading to a final score of 33–10.
While not as glamorous as the 2007 tournament for the Pumas, their campaign was considered relatively successful as they qualified for the quarterfinals from a pool that featured England and Scotland, and put up a valiant quarterfinal display against the All Blacks. It marked the first time that Argentina qualified for the quarterfinals in two consecutive World Cup tournaments.
2012: The Rugby Championship
In 2012, Argentina again drew a test series against France.
2012 saw a major breakthrough for the Pumas, as they joined The Rugby Championship (formerly known as the Tri Nations) against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. This was the first time Argentina participated in an annual Tier 1 international competition.
Argentina played its first match of the 2012 Rugby Championship against South Africa in Cape Town on 18 August 2012, losing 27–6. Argentina quickly recovered one week later in Mendoza to achieve a 16–16 score against South Africa, its first draw in history against the Springboks. Argentina acquitted themselves well against Australia, losing 19–23 and then 19–25 to earn a losing bonus point in each match. Argentina also played respectably against the All Blacks in New Zealand, with Argentina keeping the score 5–6 at the half before losing 5–21. Despite ending bottom of the table with just 4 points and no wins in their inaugural season, Argentina proved hard to beat when home.
In the November 2012 test series, Argentina beat Wales at the Millennium Stadium, and lost against France and Ireland also on the road. In June 2013, the team lost both matches against England in Argentina, and beat tier 2 squad Georgia.
Argentina lost 2–0 to England in 2013 including a record 32–3 defeat in the opening test, the biggest losing margin Argentina has had against England on home soil. Argentina achieved the occasional "upset", including a 9–6 win over Scotland at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh and a 26–12 win over Wales, who at the time where the Six Nations Grand Slam Champions, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
In 2013, Argentina began their second tournament with a record breaking 73–13 defeat by South Africa, which was South Africa's biggest winning margin over Argentina. In the reverse fixture at home in round 2, Argentina proved to be a formidable team, but lost narrowlly to South Africa 17–22.
In round 3 they played New Zealand who was victorious in the match 28–13. In Round 4, they lost to Australia in Perth 14–13. In the corresponding home fixture, Argentina lost 54–17 to Australia, a record losing margin against Australia at home. It was the second year in a row with Argentina finishing bottom of the table at the Rugby Championship, this time losing all matches.
On October 21, 2013, Phelan stepped down from his post as Los Pumas head coach, one year early from the end of his contract. Over the 45 matches that he coached in his 5-year tenure, he earned 13 wins, 31 defeats and 1 draw.
Daniel Hourcade was hired as new Pumas head coach in October 2013. In November 2013, the Pumas were beaten by England and Wales in Twickenham and Cardiff, and later won against Italy in Rome. In the 2014 mid-year rugby union internationals, Argentina lost their games against Ireland and Scotland.
On 5 October 2014, Los Pumas achieved their first ever win in the Rugby Championship, defeating Australia 21–17 at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, their first win over Australia in 17 years. Despite that win, Argentina finished in last place in the Rugby Championship for the third consecutive year.
In the 2014 European end-of-year tests, Argentina lost to Scotland, and beat Italy and France,
In the 2015 Rugby Championship, beat South Africa for the first time 37-25.
2015 Rugby World Cup
Argentina followed their growing competitiveness in the Rugby Championship with a strong showing in the 2015 World Cup, reaching the semi-finals for the second time. Argentina opened the tournament with a close fought match against favourites New Zealand, leading 13-12 at half time before eventually conceding two second half tries to lose 26-16. They followed this with a string of convincing wins against Georgia, Tonga and Namibia to qualify for the quarterfinals. A feature of Argentina's rugby in the 2015 World Cup was their free-flowing, entertaining and attacking style of play which resulted in them scoring 22 tries in pool play.
In the quarter final against Ireland, Argentina scored two tries in the opening 10 minutes to jump out to an early 17-0 lead. Ireland regrouped and scored two tries of their own either side of half time to narrow the gap to 20-17 early in the second half. However, Argentina rallied in the late stages of the match, running in late tries by Juan Imhoff and Joaquín Tuculet to eventually finish with a convincing 43-20 win. As a result, they advanced to their second semi-final against Australia.
The situation was reversed in the semi-final, when Argentina conceded 2 tries in the opening 10 minutes as Australia gained a 19-6 lead after 30 minutes. Argentina dominated the territory and possession of the remainder of the match, gaining a number of penalties at the scrum to gradually reduce Australia's lead. The match was finely balanced with Australia leading 22-15 after 70 minutes, when Australian winger Drew Mitchell produced a match winning run, beating 4 Argentian tacklers before passing to Adam Ashley-Cooper to score the winning try. The match finished with Australia winning a fast-paced and entertaining clash 29-15.
Colours, symbol and name
Argentina alternated blue and white jerseys during its first international matches in 1910. In 1927 Mr. Abelardo Gutiérrez of Gimnasia y Esgrima de Buenos Aires proposed that Argentina should play against British Lions in a striped white and light blue jersey. That request was accepted and Argentina wore the striped uniform for the first time in its history.
Los Pumas play in a shirt in the country's flag (and sporting) colours of light blue and white, white shorts, and socks in light blue and white. In 2011, the UAR signed a deal with Nike which became the exclusive kit provider for all its national senior and youth teams, including Pampas XV. The first uniform designed by the American company left the traditional horizontal-striped jersey behind, featuring a single light blue with white shoulders jersey, although it was announced that Los Pumas will wear its traditional uniform again when they play the 2012 Rugby Championship.
On September 1941, Abelardo Gutiérrez (who had proposed the use of a white and blue jersey for the team 14 years prior) suggested a badge with the figure of a lion. The color of the crest was blue (due to Buenos Aires Cricket Club, where the first rugby match in Argentine had been played). The animal was later replaced by a native to Argentine species, so the jaguar was chosen due to his "agility and courage", according to their words.
The Pumas nickname is the result of an error made by Carl Kohler, a journalist for the then Die Transvaler newspaper in South Africa, while following the team during their first overseas tour ever – to Southern Africa in 1965. He tried to devise a catchy nickname for the team similar to existing international team nicknames such as All Blacks, Springboks, and Wallabies. He asked Isak van Heerden, the then coach of the Natal Rugby team who was asked by the SARB to assist with the tour, for ideas. They saw a picture of a type of lion with spots on the UAR crest. Kohler was aware that the Americas had jaguars and pumas, and as he was under pressure to submit his article, made a guess and called them the Pumas, instead of the actual jaguar. The mistake stuck, and was eventually adopted by the Argentines themselves (although the UAR crest still depicts a jaguar).
- 1 The team alternated white and blue jerseys during that period.
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor|
|1978 – 1998||Adidas||No shirt sponsor|
|1999 – 2000||VISA|
|2000 – 2003||Topper|
|2004 – 2011||Adidas|
|2012 – present||Nike, Inc|
The Pumas use a variety of stadiums when playing at home. One of the most frequently used for tests is Estadio José Amalfitani, home of Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield and sited in Buenos Aires. When Great Britain first came to Argentina in the 1910 tour, the national team played at Polo Ground of Flores among other stadiums.
When the British combined returned to Argentina in 1927, the national side started to use GEBA and Buenos Aires Cricket Club as their home venues. GEBA was a frecquent venue during the next decades, but hosted only three matches after the 1960s, as the Pumas started using larger stadiums; the Pumas' last match at GEBA was in 1993. On the other side, the Buenos Aires Cricket was also used for a large number of matches until 1948 when it was destroyed by the fire in 1948.
In 1997 BACRC inaugurated the first purpose-built rugby union stadium in Argentina, erected in Los Polvorines, Greater Buenos Aires. A total of nine international games were played there by the national team until 2005 when it was sold.
During the mid year tests in 2007, as well as Vélez Sársfield, Argentina played games at venues including Brigadier Estanislao López in Santa Fe, Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, and Gigante de Arroyito, in Rosario. Argentina have also used the River Plate Stadium in the past, and in 2006 hosted Wales at Estadio Raúl Conti in Puerto Madryn.
Argentina have won 219 of their 404 Test matches, a win record of 54.21%. When the world rankings were introduced by the IRB in October 2003, Argentina were ranked seventh. They fell to eighth in the rankings in June 2004, before rising back to seventh by November that year. They fell back to eighth in February 2005, and stayed there until falling to their lowest ranking of ninth in February 2006. Since then, Argentina rose to eighth in July 2006, then sixth in November of that year. They had a one-week fall to seventh, then one week later rose to fifth to start the World Cup 2007.
Los Pumas twice surpassed their highest ranking at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Defeating number three France, the first opening game loss for a World Cup hosting nation, moved them into fourth place, their highest position since the IRB World Rankings were established. They lost to eventual champions South Africa in the semi-final but beat France yet again in the bronze medal round to set another highest ranking, third, behind South Africa and New Zealand.
Argentina has won every match against South American national teams, including 31 against Uruguay, 28 against Chile, 16 against Paraguay and 11 against Brazil. In contrast, they have never beaten New Zealand, having scored a draw against them.
Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by an Argentina national XV at test level up until 30 October 2015.
|Top 30 rankings as on 8 February 2016|
|*Change from the previous week|
|Argentina's Historical Rankings|
|Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 1 November 2015|
|British and Irish Lions||6||0||6||0||0.00%||6||211||-205|
|New Zealand XV||4||0||4||0||0.00%||30||80||-50|
|Oxford and Cambridge||8||2||5||1||25.00%||48||126||-78|
|South Africa Gazelles||6||2||4||0||33.33%||60||71||-11|
Rugby World Cup
|1987 (16)||Pool Stage||13th||3||1||0||2||49||90|
|1991 (16)||Pool Stage||14th||3||0||0||3||38||83|
|1995 (16)||Pool Stage||13th||3||0||0||3||69||87|
|1999 (20)||Quarter Final||8th||5||3||0||2||137||122|
|2003 (20)||Pool Stage||9th||4||2||0||2||140||57|
|2007 (20)||Third place||3rd||7||6||0||1||209||93|
|2011 (20)||Quarter Final||8th||5||3||0||2||100||73|
|2015 (20)||Fourth place||4th||7||4||0||3||250||143|
The Rugby Championship
|Rugby Championship (2012 – )|
Updated: 8 August 2015
On 30 January, Juan Pablo Estellés replaced Franco Cuaranta in the squad following an injury sustained in training.
On 4 February, Gaspar Baldunciel was added to the squad as injury cover for Facundo Bosch in the squad following an injury sustained in training.
- Caps Updated: 6 November 2015
- 1932: Edmundo Cundo Stanfield
- 1936: Luis Cilley, Edmundo Stanfield and C. Huntley Robertson.
- 1954: Juan C. Wells.
- 1956: Dermot Cavanagh and Horacio Savino.
- 1959: Jorge Merelle.
- 1960: Robert Galarga.
- 1965: Izaak Van Heerden, Alberto Camardón and Ángel Guastella.
- 1965–66: Alberto Camardón and Ángel Guastella.
- 1967–70: Alberto Camardón, Ángel Guastella and Jorge Merelle.
- 1971: Ángel Guastella and Eduardo Poggi.
- 1972–73: Ángel Guastella, Eduardo Poggi and Oscar Martínez Basante.
- 1974: Carlos Villegas, Emilio Perasso and Jorge Merelle.
- 1975: Eduardo Poggi and Eduardo Scahrenberg.
- 1976–77: Carlos Villegas and Emilio Perasso.
- 1978: Ángel Guastella, Aitor Otaño and José L. Imhoff.
- 1979–80: Luis Gradín and Aitor Otaño.
- 1981–83: Rodolfo O'Reilly.
- 1984: Héctor Silva and Aitor Otaño.
- 1985–86: Héctor Silva, Aitor Otaño and Ángel Guastella.
- 1987: Héctor Silva and Ángel Guastella.
- 1988–90: Rodolfo O'Reilly and Raúl Sanz.
- 1990–91: Luis Gradín and Guillermo Lamarca.
- 1992: Luis Gradín and John Hart.
- 1993–94: Héctor Méndez and José J. Fernández.
- 1995: Alejandro Petra and Ricardo Paganini.
- 1995: Alejandro Petra and Emilio Perasso.
- 1996: José Luis Imhoff, José J. Fernández, Héctor Méndez and Alex Wyllie.
- 1997: José Luis Imhoff, Héctor Méndez and Alex Wyllie.
- 1998: José Luis Imhoff and Alex Wyllie.
- 1999: José Luis Imhoff and Alex Wyllie, next Héctor Méndez and Wyllie, next Wyllie alone.
- 2000–2007 : Marcelo Loffreda and Daniel Baetti.
- 2008–13: Santiago Phelan and Fabián Turnes
- 2013–: Daniel Hourcade
After Marcelo Loffreda left following the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the UAR spent nearly five months searching for a successor until opting for a two-coach setup, with former Pumas Santiago Phelan and Fabián Turnes taking over. On 22 October 2013, Phelan resigned from his post, ending a five-year spell in charge 2 week before Argentina goes on tour as part of the 2013 end-of-year rugby union tests. On 23 October 2013, Argentina Jaguars and Pampas XV head coach Daniel Hourcade was named the new Head Coach and his current contract will run through until the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Individual all-time records
|Juan M. Fernández Lobbe||Flanker||2004–||71||69||2||30||40||1||42.95|
|10||3 players on 65 matches|
Last updated: Sudafrica vs Argentina, 31 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.
|1||José Núñez Piossek||Wing||2001–08||28||26||2||145||29|
|2||Diego Cuesta Silva||Centre||1983–95||63||63||0||125||28|
|10||8 players on 14 tries|
Last updated: Sudafrica vs Argentina, 31 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.
|8||Juan Fernández Miranda||Fly-half||1997–2007||29||17||12||158||5||41||12||5|
|9||Juan Martín Hernández||Fly-half||2003-||58||56||2||149||7||15||20||8|
|10||José Núñez Piossek||Wing||2001–08||28||26||2||145||29||0||0||0|
Last updated: Sudafrica vs Argentina, 31 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only. 
Most matches as captain
|5||Juan M. Fernández Lobbe||Number 8||2008–2014||20||4||15||1||22.50||10||2|
Last updated: Sudafrica vs Argentina, 31 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only. 
Most points in a match
|1.||Eduardo Morgan||Wing||50||6||13||0||0||Paraguay||São Paulo||14/10/1973|
|2.||José Núñez Piossek||Wing||45||9||0||0||0||Paraguay||Montevideo||27/04/2003|
|3.||Gustavo Jorge||Wing||40||8||0||0||0||Brazil||São Paulo||02/10/1993|
|6.||Eduardo Morgan||Wing||31||3||5||3||0||Uruguay||São Paulo||16/10/1973|
|Eduardo de Forteza||Fly-half||31||0||11||3||0||Paraguay||Asunción||25/09/1975|
|José Luna||Wing||31||1||4||6||0||Romania||Buenos Aires||14/10/1995|
|Felipe Contepomi||Fly-half||31||2||3||5||0||France||Buenos Aires||26/06/2010|
|10.||4 players on 30 points|
Last updated: Sudafrica vs Argentina, 31 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only. 
Most tries in a match
|1.||José Núñez Piossek||Wing||45||9||0||0||0||Paraguay||Montevideo||27/04/2003|
|2.||Gustavo Jorge||Wing||40||8||0||0||0||Brazil||São Paulo||02/10/1993|
|3.||Uriel O'Farrell||Wing||21||7||0||0||0||Uruguay||Buenos Aires||09/09/1951|
|4.||Uriel O'Farrell||Wing||18||6||0||0||0||Brazil||Buenos Aires||13/09/1951|
|Eduardo Morgan||Wing||50||6||13||0||0||Paraguay||São Paulo||14/10/1973|
|5||5 players on 5 tries|
|1.||Gustavo Jorge||Wing||17 years and 349 days||Brazil||Montevideo||08/10/1989|
|2.||Federico Méndez||Prop||18 years and 86 days||Ireland||Lansdowne Road||27/10/1990|
|3.||Patricio Fernández||Fly-half||18 years and 202 days||Chile||Montevideo||01/05/2013|
|4.||Alejandro Iachetti||Lock||18 years and 319 days||Uruguay||Asunción||21/09/1975|
|5.||Eliseo Branca||Lock||19 years and 26 days||Wales XV||Cardiff||16/10/1976|
|6.||Lisandro Arbizu||(Fly-half)||19 years and 28 days||Ireland||Lansdowne Road||27/10/1990|
|7.||Santiago Álvarez||(Centre)||19 years and 69 days||Uruguay||Montevideo||27/04/2013|
|8.||German Schultz||Wing||19 years and 81 days||Uruguay||Montevideo||27/04/2013|
|9.||Manuel Plaza||Lock||19 years and 139 days||Paraguay||Asunción||23/05/2015|
|10.||Pablo Camerlinckx||Number 8||19 years and 146 days||Brazil||Montevideo||08/10/1989|
|1.||Hugo Porta||Fly-half||39 years and 60 days||Scotland||Murrayfield||10/11/1990|
|2.||Mario Ledesma||Hooker||38 years and 145 days||New Zealand||Auckland||09/10/2011|
|3.||Fairy Heatlie||Number 8||38 years and 48 days||Britain XV||Flores||12/06/1910|
|4.||Omar Hasan||Prop||36 years and 181 days||France||Parc des Princes||19/10/2007|
|5.||Felipe Contepomi||Centre||36 years and 46 days||Australia||Rosario||05/10/2013|
|6.||Martín Scelzo||Prop||35 years and 246 days||New Zealand||Auckland||09/10/2011|
|7.||Rodrigo Roncero||Prop||35 years and 233 days||Australia||Rosario||06/10/2012|
|8.||Marcelo Loffreda||Centre||35 years and 151 days||South Africa||Johannesburg||15/10/1994|
|9.||Julio Farías Cabello||Flanker||35 years and 65 days||Italy||Rome||23/11/2013|
|10.||Rolando Martín||Flanker||35 years and 33 days||Ireland||Adelaide||26/10/2003|
- Argentina national rugby union team (sevens)
- Puma Trophy
- South American Jaguars
- South American Rugby Championship
- Churchill Cup
- English Argentine
- "Felipe Contepomi será el Puma récord en Rosario". CanchaLlena.com. 1 October 2013.
- "La despedida de un símbolo". Clarin.com. 6 October 2013.
- ""Contepomi to set record, Pumas chase historic win" at UltimateRugby.com".
- "Contepomi ya sabe lo que significa ser Puma récord". Clarin.com. 29 Sep 2013.
- "Contepomi superó a Porta y es el goleador récord", Clarín, 9 June 2012
- "Contepomi, goleador histórico Puma", ESPN, 9 June 2012
- "Six Nations would be magnificent seven with us, pleads Pichot", Western Mail, 19 June 2006.
- Deges, Frankie. "Argentina is now part of Rugby Championship". Buenos Aires Herald. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "Wallabies defeated 21–17 by Argentina". The Australian. 4 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "El centenario del debut", Clarín, 13 June 2010
- "De festejo también, pero por el Centenario" by Jorge Búsico, La Nación, 27 May 2010
- "England 18–25 Argentina". BBC. 11 November 2006. Retrieved 2 June 2007.
- Cain, Nick (25 February 2007). "Ambitious Argentina poised to secure TriNations place". The Sunday Times (London). Retrieved 26 February 2007.
- "Pumas will stay crouched until 2010". RugbyRugby.com. 13 August 2007. Archived from the original on 14 October 2007. Retrieved 11 October 2007.
- "First Test Preview: Argentina v Ireland". Irish Rugby Football Union. 25 May 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2007.
- "Argentina 22–20 Ireland". BBC. 26 May 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2007.
- "Argentina 16–0 Ireland". BBC. 2 June 2007. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2007.
- "Coach asks Argentina to stay calm". BBC Sport. 8 September 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2007.
- PA Sport (9 October 2007). "Contepomi's field of dreams". Sportal.co.nz. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2007.
- "Rugby lays foundations for continued growth" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 30 November 2007. Archived from the original on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2007.
- "Phelan named new Argentina coach". BBC News. 13 March 2008.
- Gallagher, Brendan (13 June 2009). "Lions 2009: Argentina look for future tour While the British and Irish Lions play in front of apathetic half-empty stadiums in South Africa, Argentina look on with growing frustration and anger.". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "Springboks power to record victory over Pumas". ESPN scrum.
- "Wallabies humble Pumas in Rosario". ESPN scrum.
- ESPN Staff. "Phelan resigns after five years". ESPN scrum.
- "La pasión cumple 100 años", La Nación, 10 April 1999
- "El pase del verano: Los Pumas dejan Adidas para vestirse con Nike", El Cronista, 27 November 2011
- "Nike presenta su camiseta de Los Pumas", Prematch website
- Davies, Sean (26 July 2007). "Puma power: Argentinian rugby". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 8 October 2007.
- Argentina at Flores
- "Argentina at ground: GEBA", ESPN Scrum.com
- "El club de rugby más antiguo de la Argentina" at Rugbytime.com, 19 September 2008
- "Buenos Aires Cricket & Rugby Club" at Centro de Documentación, Investigación y Referencia Histórica-Deportiva, June 2009
- "Adiós a un escenario de triunfos históricos", Clarín, 4 Dec 2005
- "El historial de los Pumas contra los grandes: los All Blacks, el único al que no le pudieron ganar", Cancha Llena, 8 Aug 2015
- "El historial de Los Pumas ante Australia, la tercera potencia", Infobae, 18 Oct 2015
- Ranking archives can be found at the IRB website; www.irb.com
- Argentina statistics
- "World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- Argentina XV para la Americas Rugby Championship
- Cambio y partida de Argentina XV
- Bosch injured, Baldunciel joins Argentina
- (Spanish) UAR. Entrenadores de Los Pumas de todos los Tiempos
- Iribarren, Ezequiel (21 February 2008). "Le buscaron pareja" (in Spanish). Clarín. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
- "Daniel Hourcade, nuevo Head Coach de Los Pumas".
- "Rugby Union - Argentina - Most matches - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum.
|Wikinews has related news: 2007 Rugby World Cup: Argentina shock France in tournament opener|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Argentina national rugby union team.|
- Official website
- Los Pumas at Planet Rugby (news about Argentine rugby)
- Rugby Fun (news, statistics and results)
- Los Pumas at Rugby Time (news, statistics and results)
- Los Pumas at El Rugbier (news, statistics and results)
- "Argentina's time in the sun", BBC Sport, 24 Jan 2001
- "Puma power: Argentinian rugby", BBC Sport, 24 Apr 2006