The continent’s premier tournament will kick off in February 2024 with seven franchises.
Following the successful inaugural edition of Super Rugby Americas in 2023, which came after three seasons of the Americas Rugby Super League, South America Rugby confirms the realization of a new season of the continent’s premier tournament.
The seven franchises that participated in 2023 are confirmed: defending champions Peñarol Rugby (Uruguay), Cobras Brazil XV (Brazil), Selknam (Chile), Yacare XV (Paraguay), the United States franchise, American Raptors, and again two franchises from Argentina.
“Days before the start of the Rugby World Cup, which will feature many players who have developed in high-performance settings in our tournaments, it is of great pride to announce that Super Rugby Americas continues its growth process,” said Sebastián Piñeyrúa, President of South America Rugby.
The world’s focus will be on France in the next two months, where the tenth edition of the Rugby World Cup will be played, featuring a significant presence of players with a history in the previous Americas Rugby Super League and the current Super Rugby Americas, confirming the path set in the region in the previous World Cup cycle to have a professional and high-performance rugby stage without the need to emigrate.
“The comprehensive development of players has been demonstrated to be achievable in their own countries, and the transition from club rugby to franchises is beneficial for national teams, as seen with Uruguay qualifying for the first time as number one in the Americas and Chile’s debut in a World Cup,” Piñeyrúa added.
In France, Argentina will have six players with experience in their franchises, 29 of Los Teros play or have played for Peñarol Rugby, while in the squad of 33 Chilean players, only one has not played for Selknam.
Daniel Hourcade, High-Performance Manager, said, “The solid and professional work that has been done in each of the countries has shown that initially the Americas Rugby Super League and now Super Rugby Americas are integral parts of the path to the national team for thousands of kids dreaming of becoming Teros, Pumas, Tupis, Yacarés, Cóndores, and Águilas. For some years now, this path, which requires enormous work and commitment from many sectors and people, can indeed be pursued in their own countries.”
“The reflection of this is that in 2023, for example, the Argentine Under-20 national team participated in the U20 World Rugby Championship with 22 Pumitas who had played in the tournament, while five Teritos participated in the U20 World Rugby Trophy.”
The growth of South American rugby in high-performance settings has led teams like Namibia and the European champions Black Lion franchise (Georgia) to choose to prepare in the region. Over 50% of the Black Lion players who will participate in the RWC starting this Friday were on their five-match tour, where they faced Super Rugby Americas franchises.
Details about dates and format will be announced in due course.