Pumas coach opens up on uncertainty over Rugby Champs
REACTION: Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma said his team is well-equipped to deal with any changes to the Rugby Championship schedule.
On Thursday, reports emerged that SANZAAR are weighing up shifting the Rugby Championship to Europe for the remainder of the competition, following the Springboks’ match with Argentina this weekend.
Matches in New Zealand were expected to be relocated to Western Australia until earlier this week when the coronavirus re-emerged in NZ. Australia have since closed any quarantine-free travel between the two neighbouring nations, which would make it exceptionally difficult for the competition to continue under the current schedule as the All Blacks are currently still at home in New Zealand, and their next Bledisloe Cup clash with the Wallabies is due to be played in nine days.
For Ledesma, the latest reports are just part and parcel of the times we are in and he said his team will be ready to play anywhere.
“From the beginning of last year everything has been uncertain,” said Ledesma.
“We [South Africa and Argentina] can both relate to it as we have countries suffering the same situation with Covid. Not only because of the pandemic, but economically and socially, we have the same type of problems.
“If we must go to Europe, we will go to Europe. If we have to stay over here in South Africa, we will stay in South Africa. We are not playing in our country, so if we have to move, we will move. There are no problems with that.”
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Plenty of bubbles
Ledesma said his team has plenty of experience dealing with the restrictions that comes with playing in other countries.
“It was really hard in Australia [during the Tri-Nations] last year because we couldn’t go out of our rooms and we were only allowed to go down for training,” the coach added.
“We couldn’t be together, and the meetings were very short and we were pretty much isolated and that was hard.
“But since we have been here we have been in a bubble. When we played in Wales we were in a bubble and when we played in Romania we were in a bubble.
“Not that I am saying we are getting used to it – it’s really difficult but I don’t think the conditions are going to change that much.”