Argentina coach Mario Ledesma says Los Pumas are keen to play the remainder of their Rugby Championship Tests, no matter where in the world the tournament is held.
Following this week’s Test against the Springboks, the remaining four fixtures of Argentina’s Rugby Championship campaign, against the Wallabies and All Blacks respectively, were scheduled to take place in Australia.
But the competition has been cast in doubt after New Zealand Rugby (NZR) unilaterally announced the two home Rugby Championship Tests against South Africa will not be played in New Zealand, and that the All Blacks would not be flying to Perth this weekend for the third Bledisloe Cup Test which was scheduled to be played at Optus Stadium on 28 August.
That dramatic call by NZR was made in the wake of the New Zealand government placing the country in a state of national lockdown.
It is believed that Sanzaar is still exploring the option of the Rugby Championship proceeding in Australia, but that it is becoming increasingly likely that the remainder of the tournament could be moved to the northern hemisphere, after an initial report suggested that Europe is seen as a viable alternative venue.
“There is uncertainty,” he said. “If we have to go to Europe or stay in South Africa, we’ll [choose to] stay here. If we have to move, we’ll move. No problems.”
Of course Argentina have experience of living in quarantine and isolation and of playing in bio-bubbles in a foreign country, having done so during last year’s Rugby Championship in Australia and more recently in South Africa for their two Tests against the Boks.
“Obviously it was pretty hard in Australia last year. We couldn’t go out of our rooms and were only allowed to go out for training. We were very much isolated and that was hard.
“Since we’ve been here (South Africa), we’ve been in several other bubbles in Wales and Romania. I’m not saying we’re getting used to it, it’s always going to be difficult. But I don’t believe the conditions are going to change that much (if they do have to travel to Europe).”
Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images