Why aren’t Samoa in the Rugby Championship?
121 Have your say
Watching the All Blacks go through the paces against Argentina on Sunday in La Plata, this column was reminded (for those who don’t know) Samoa has beaten Argentina three times in four Test matches, including a 28-12 drubbing in Buenos Aires in 2005.
But you wouldn’t know, as Argentina has consistently been ranked in the top ten – or even top five – teams in the world the last 15 or so years.
This, while Samoa is deemed a second tier side.
No disrespect to Argentina. They are very passionate about their rugby and have a long and colourful rugby history. Their inclusion also in the Rugby Championship is merited with some good performances over the years as well as, ideal in spreading the rugby gospel in that vast country and the wider South American continent. That is what we all want.
But what about Samoa?
They have a better win-loss record to Argentina and in the last 18 months clobbered the Wallabies in Sydney and ran the Springboks to the wire at the World Cup last year.
Don’t we deserve a possible mention as a possible Rugby Championship side in the future?
From a Samoan point of view, the envy is that Argentina will be a better rugby side in the future now that it will play regularly at this level and the enormous funding boost from the IRB that is coming with it.
Where does that leave Samoa? Samoa too would like to enjoy these benefits Argentina are getting.
Samoa is not unaware of its disadvantages, particularly in the business aspect of the game. A small population (just 180,000 people), a small economy and, like what Argentina are going through, trying to get professional players released from their European clubs for Test matches.
But the country is teeming with rugby talent and has consistently punched above its weight.
Based on results alone, we should be the fourth nation in this exciting Rugby Championship setup. It is only fair.
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