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Argentina might be better known for its football, but rugby is also a relatively big deal in this South American country. Usually played by the middle and upper classes, most club rugby is an amateur pursuit, while the international team plays in the Tri-Nations competition, and the famous Jaguares professional team is part of the Super Rugby league.
Rugby is a decidedly low-key sport in Argentina, much more so than football, which claims some of the global football scene’s most colourful and talented characters, such as Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Rugby players don’t operate on such a glamourous world stage, the local world of rugby being an altogether more familiar affair. The culture of rugby at club level is in some ways similar to that of football, and reflects certain aspects of Argentine culture in how the game is viewed, perceived and enjoyed.
Much like football, players of rugby will usually be affiliated with an amateur sports club where they would have grown up playing rugby. Rugby games usually take place on Saturdays, and player’s families, friends and significant others will usually show up to support. Rugby clubs in Argentina have the same setup as the athletics clubs where football takes place, meaning that there is a big emphasis on the culture surrounding the game, as well as the game itself. People will usually show up a few hours before the game to spend time with their loved ones, eat some famous Argentine meat from the grill and drink some beers. People rarely go to bars to watch rugby matches, as the amateur club games are not widely televised, and priority at an international level is always given to football. So the clubs and clubhouses are really where rugby can be appreciated in all its glory.
The international Argentine team is called Los Pumas, and they play in the José Amalfitani Stadium in Liniers, Buenos Aires. This stadium is also the home stadium of the Jaguares, a professional rugby team. If you want to go see a rugby match, check out the fixtures and buy your ticket on TuEntrada. Some of the more popular amateur clubs are San Isidro, located in the northern suburbs of the capital, and El Hindu Club in Don Torcuato.