Jaguares coach Gonzalo Quesada has described Phil Kearns comments as “disappointing” and misguided after the former Wallabies captain claimed the Argentinian franchise should be booted out of Super Rugby.
Shortly after the Jaguares defeated the Waratahs 23-15 at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday – the South Americans' third consecutive victory over the Waratahs – Kearns hit out at the Argentinian side.
Kearns, commentating for Fox Sports, said the Jaguares “make a mockery” of Super Rugby, given that 20 of the 23 players they fielded on the weekend have represented the national team at some stage in their career.
“Theyre the national team … they shouldnt even be in the comp,” Kearns said. “If you want national teams put them in a comp. This is a provincial competition.
“I think Argentina have been incredibly smart and have hoodwinked the rest of SANZAAR, because theyre going to have a magnificent World Cup team.”
In an interview with the Herald, Quesada made it clear he respected Kearns and his opinion, but disagreed with the assertion that the Jaguares introduction into Super Rugby was part of a deliberate plan to strengthen the national side and hijack the competition.
“I admire him and I respect his opinion, and I understand the argument and the reason hes giving … but I think we have to have a deeper look at the whole picture,” Quesada said. “I was surprised and a bit disappointed by those comments.
“What is disappointing is when he says something like we cheated or we cheated to SANZAAR or there was a strategy. The idea was to get an Argentinian team to be better. We are improving year by year. We are really thankful [to be in Super Rugby]. Its a bit disappointing.”
The Jaguares are enjoying their best Super Rugby season. They have chalked up eight wins from 13 starts – including a memorable upset victory over the Hurricanes in Wellington two weeks ago – and are sitting on top of the South African conference with a real chance of hosting a quarter-final in Argentina for the first time.
While their excellent form has turned heads, Quesada believes it is a stretch to suggest they have an advantage over other teams.
“If you see the reality of Argentinian rugby we are really still quite behind,” Quesada said. “We have players abroad and we dont have our best players. We have at least six or seven players who were in under-20s last year that had no experience in Super Rugby or internaRead More – Source