The recent Rugby World Cup qualifying game between USA and Canada in San Diego that saw the Eagles secure a place in RWC 2019 as Americas 1 was the ideal backdrop for three days of meetings between staff members of Sudamérica Rugby, Rugby Americas North and World Rugby.
The Americas is the only geographical continent divided into two World Rugby regions under the umbrella of Americas Rugby with size, language and distances being mayor factors. The meetings were very positive in the search of common goals and tasks.
These included the preparation and achievement of a Rugby Americas Strategic Plan, considering the practicalities and possibilities, ensuring optimal hemispheric collaboration, integration and harmony of purpose between Sudamérica Rugby and Rugby Americas North. Ultimately, the goal is to achieve SAR and RAN development partnerships.
This was the second of such meetings, following one in 2015 in Lima, Perú, which focused on competitions, and in which the spirit of collaboration was high on the agenda.
World Rugby Vice Chairman Agustín Pichot has inspired the Americas to come together to grow the game in partnerships of competitions and development initiatives.
Tom Jones, Regional General Manager, Rugby Americas, said: “While retaining their sovereignty and identities, SAR and RAN will join forces under the coordinated facilitation of Rugby Americas with a global strategy to optimise Americas continental structures, competitions and development.”
“Everyone in the meetings appreciated and grasped this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something special in the Americas. To achieve more together than we have separately.”
In the key area of competitions, SAR Manager Horacio Herrera, was happy with the work done. “We worked together to progress consideration of cross regional championships. We will work to start an Americas Rugby Championship B tournament with nations from both regions. We also discussed the Americas Rugby Sevens 2018-19 that has been approved in principle by RAN and SAR EXCOs, with two tournaments each in the North and the South.”
Herrera, the longest serving SAR staff member, added: “We are completing the pathway to allow each nation to grow through their development and performance.”
With Herrera, Francisco Rubio (Training & Education Manager), both Development Managers Fernando del Castillo and Berti Ruiz Luca de Tena, and SAR Board member Victor Luaces travelled from the South, to be met by Mike Luke (Regional Training Manager), Scott Harland (Regional Development Manager), Niall Brooks (General Manager) and George Nicholson (Board Member). Also present were Jones, Katie Sadleir (World Rugby General Manager for Women’s Rugby) and Santiago Ramallo (Regional Development Manager South America).