Time to scrap Rugby Championship, suggests Jake White
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Jake White feels Argentina’s participation in the Rugby Championship has proven problematic for their progress in world rugby.
White, who currently coaches Japanese outfit Toyota Verblitz, expressed his views via a column on the All Out Rugby website.
“In six seasons since being added to the Rugby Championship, the Pumas have won three matches and have finished last five times. They finished third at the 2007 World Cup, coming from nowhere to suddenly be a force in world rugby. There was a push to get them involved in some sort of a competition and I remember being in a meeting after that World Cup to talk about where they could fit in,” White wrote.
In the year the Pumas didn't finish last - 2015 - it was the Springboks who ended up as wooden spoonists.
White, who coached the Springboks to World Cup glory in 2007, believes playing in the Rugby Championship against New Zealand, South Africa and Australia every year has made it harder for Argentina to move up in the world rankings.
Los Pumas finished last in this year's Rugby Championship, losing all six their games without gaining a log point.
“In January of 2008, Argentina were ranked third in the world. Today, they’re 10th. You have to ask whether it’s been worth it for them - my guess is they’d answer yes and no. In a lot of ways, it has been worth it because Argentina get to play the top-tier nations every year, home and away. In the decade before the Tri-Nations was expanded, the Pumas played less than 10 matches against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa outside of the World Cup," White wrote.
“But it’s a double-edged sword as far as the rankings go. A team moves up the rankings by winning away from home or winning at home by more than 15 points. If you’re in the Rugby Championship against the world champions, South Africa and Australia, those two things are not the norm.”
White’s solution is a global rugby calendar which would see the abolishment of southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship and the northern hemisphere’s Six Nations.
"With a global season, the Six Nations and Rugby Championship would be replaced by a global calendar that schedules fixtures based on the world rankings," White continued.