@unionargentina THE BIRTH OF THE PUMAS - 1965
Following a South African invitation to tour the country and Rhodesia, the Argentinian Rugby Union embarked on their first overseas tour. Not only was this their first tour of the Southern Hemisphere, but it was also the first time that they were to leave the South American continent for competition purposes. The pictured shield celebrates the first 50 years of the existence of the Puma designation.
Prior to the tour, the South African Rugby Football Board (SARFB), seconded Natal coach, Izak van Heerden to assist Alberto Camardón and Angel Guastella, the official tour coaches, with their tour preparation to enhance their competitiveness. By the time that their first African adventure started on the 8 May 1965, the team was ready. Victory, however, was not to be handed to them on a silver platter.
In their first match, against Southern Rhodesia, this message was hammered home. The Argentinians lost a close contest with 12-17. They, however, scored on another front. In line with common rugby practice, they were baptized and granted their own nickname, the “Pumas”. This formally placed them right in the company of the Springboks, All Blacks and Wallabies. It also did not really matter that Carl Köhler of Die Transvaler mistook the "jaguareté" on their badge for a puma.
Forthwith, Argentina’s national team would be known as the Pumas and it was under this nickname that they finally graduated from being rugby apprentices to rugby artisans at the Rugby World Cup Tournament in 2007 and in the years to follow. Blessed with a new nickname, the 1965 - tour also became known for the first significant Puma victory against a worthy national opponent when they defeated the Junior Springboks by 11-6 on 19 June 1965 at the erstwhile Ellis Park.
On the Eastern Cape leg of their tour, the Pumas played against the Eastern Province Country Districts (Queenstown) which they won 27-6 and Border Country Districts (Cradock) which drawn by 6-6. (credits the Springboks experience rugby museum)
#rugby #history #argentina #pumas #lospumas