Argentina national rugby union team
|Union||Unión Argentina de Rugby|
|Head coach||Daniel Hourcade|
|Most caps||Felipe Contepomi (87) |
|Top scorer||Felipe Contepomi (651) |
|Top try scorer||José María Núñez Piossek (30)|
|Home stadium||Estadio José Amalfitani|
|World Rugby ranking|
|Current||5 (as of 20 June 2016)|
|Argentina 3–28 British Isles
(12 June 1910)
|Argentina 152–0 Paraguay
(1 May 2002)
|New Zealand 93–8 Argentina
(21 June 1997)
|Appearances||8 (First in 1987)|
|Best result||Third place, 2007|
The Argentina national rugby team, officially 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. 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 Argentine 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. 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.
The Pumas toured the British Isles in 1990, playing their first away match versus the England senior team and their first ever Test matches versus the Ireland and Scotland senior squads. They had a two-point loss to Ireland hand heavy losses versus the other two teams.
Over the following years, the retirement of many of Argentina's most experienced players, and the defection of many others to professional leagues (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.
During the preparations for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, the Pumas defeated 1999 Five Nations Championship winners Scotland at the Murrayfield Stadium. A more experienced and somewhat under-rated squad 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 Argentinian 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 221 of their 408 Test matches, a win record of 54.17%. 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 second 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 20 August 2016.
|Top 30 rankings as of 22 Aug 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 10 August 2016, Felipe Arregui, replacing Santiago García Botta, was named in Argentina's 26-man travelling squad for the opening match against South Africa.
Head Coach: Daniel Hourcade
- Caps Updated: 20 August 2016
Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.
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
Last updated: Argentina vs France, 19 June 2016. Statistics include officially capped matches only.
Last updated: Argentina vs France, 19 June 2016. Statistics include officially capped matches only.
Last updated: Argentina vs France, 19 June 2016. Statistics include officially capped matches only. 
Most matches as captain
Last updated: Argentina vs France, 19 June 2016. Statistics include officially capped matches only. 
Most points in a match
Last updated: Sudafrica vs Argentina, 31 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only. 
Most tries in a match
Last updated: Sudafrica vs Argentina, 31 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only. 
Last updated: Sudafrica vs Argentina, 31 October 2015. Statistics include officially capped matches only.