Right time for Pumas to join


With the All Blacks still groggy it’s the right time for the Pumas to join the Rugby Championshop, says Jake White.


The Pumas join South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in the Rugby Championship this year and White believes that the fact that the All Blacks will be in a rebuilding phase will help to ease the newcomers into the competition.

“It’s not a bad time for Argentina to come in because New Zealand are restarting. There is no doubt that they’ve got a World Cup hangover and I don’t blame them because they waited a long time for it,” the World Cup-winning coach told Sunday Star Times.

Many of the stars that were so influential for the All Blacks at the World Cup on home soil last year have looked out of sorts in the Super Rugby competition this year and White said that it was not surprising as it has happened before.

“The next team that wins the World Cup will have a World Cup hangover the following year as well. It happened to the All Blacks in 1987, Australia in 1991 and South Africa in 1995.

“It is one of the unwritten things that happen when you win a World Cup. Because we put so much pressure on winning the World Cup and make it the jewel in the crown, the year after will always be a lowlight not a highlight,” he explained.

The Brumbies coach said that while defending champions Australia will have more continuity New Zealand and South Africa will still be finding their feet under new coaching teams, which should make things a bit easier for Argentina in their debut campaign.

Wallabies most settled

“So this is a great time for Argentina to come in and they will be competitive. The Wallabies are probably the most settled of everybody and the South Africans have a new coach with a new style and I’m sure new players,” he said.

White explained that bringing the Pumas into the competition with New Zealand at the height of their powers would not have been ideal as neither side would gain much, but added that the dynamic this season should ensure that the matches are competitive.

“Argentina have always struggled to get enough quality Test matches each year, so throwing them into the strongest competition in the world means they’ll struggle to establish themselves, just like Italy did when they came into the Six Nations.

“What you didn’t want is for Argentina to come in when New Zealand are at the top of their game,” he said.

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