Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Porta becomes bullish
Rugby-Porta seeks bigger stage for Argentine Pumas
Tuesday January 3, 8:54 AM
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Argentina's greatest player Hugo Porta is hoping his standing in world rugby can help the Pumas secure regular top-level competition.
Former flyhalf Porta, who ended his career in the early 1990s, has returned to the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) fold as president of their sub-committee for international relations.
"My personal challenge is to try to obtain a fixed competition for the national teams. I want the Pumas to compete with the best," Porta said in an interview with the daily Clarin published on Monday.
"I think I can give much more to (Argentine) rugby from the international perspective with the contacts I have than being the team's trainer," said Porta, who denied any ambition to coach the Pumas.
"We'd have to see what the Pumas can bring to (a competition like)...the Six Nations," said Porta, a former Argentine ambassador to South Africa.
Eighth-ranked Argentina are the only team in the world's top 10 who do not play in one of the two big, annual competitions, the Tri-nations in the southern hemisphere or Europe's Six Nations.
Coach Marcelo Loffreda made a plea for inclusion in the Six Nations when Argentina played the British and Irish Lions in Cardiff in May, enhancing their reputation with a 25-25 draw.
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