Tue 19 Jan 2021 | 10:58

The Jaguares and Western Force merge

The Jaguares and Western Force merge
Tue 19 Jan 2021 | 10:58
The Jaguares and Western Force merge
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Star Argentinian scrumhalf Tomás Cubelli says he feels the pain of the Western Force’s past heartbreak after the Jaguares were also booted out from Super Rugby ranks.

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Cubelli is one of four Argentinian internationals to have joined the Force ahead of the upcoming Super Rugby AU season, along with flanker Tomás Lezana, prop Santiago Medrano and flyhalf Domingo Miotti.

The Force were unceremoniously axed from Super ranks in 2017, with only the backing of billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest keeping them afloat until Rugby Australia welcomed the Perth-based franchise back.

The Jaguares entered Super Rugby in 2016 with their steady growth resulting in a runners-up finish in 2019.

But the Argentinian outfit must now look for a new home after they weren’t invited to participate in the new trans-Tasman competition that will follow Super RugbyAU.

It’s expected the Jaguares will end up competing in the South American Super Liga Americana de Rugby.

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“We are really grateful for the Force to open their doors for us to come and give us that opportunity,” Cubelli said.

“We can feel [an] understanding after what happened to the Force and what happened to the Jaguares in 2020 after this tough year.

“So we feel an understanding because it’s tough when you put a lot of effort into building a team and culture, getting that identity. The Jaguares were building one.

“It’s tough, but we are grateful the Force have given us an opportunity.”

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The Force will boast plenty of international experience.

Along with the four Argentinian Test players, the Force boast former All Blacks duo Richard Kahui and Jeremy Thrush, Wallabies Tevita Kuridrani and Tom Robertson, and legendary Irish fullback Rob Kearney.

“It’s multicultural the team,” said Cubelli, who has notched 76 Tests for Argentina, including a starting role in last year’s famous win over the All Blacks.

“I think it’s a positive thing. If we can all get together and bring our best parts and get a good mix of different rugby.”

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