Sudamérica Rugby has confirmed that the Superliga Americana de Rugby (SLAR), a high-performance tournament for the six priority unions in the region, will be played in 2021.
After three games, the inaugural 2020 season had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet organisers have worked tirelessly in recent months to keep rugby going in the region.
While this year’s SLAR comprised of five teams, with a sixth to join toward the end of the season, the new 2021 Superliga Americana will be played by six teams: one each from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Two round robins rounds will be played to decide the semi-finalists, with each round set to be played in a fixed city and within a COVID bubble to minimise travel and avoid any further disruption caused by the impact.
16 March will mark the start of the season, which will stretch to 15 May when the winner is decided. With the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifying process set to kick-off next year for five of the six nations – Argentina will play in Pool D in France – the tournament will be of huge help to preparations.
“The main goal is that the boys can play rugby again, following up in the region that had started to brew this year with the Superliga,” said Sebastián Piñeyrúa, Chairman of Sudamérica Rugby, who will run and manage the league.
“For us, it is important to return to action, giving hope and opportunity to players at a higher level, showcasing that high-performance programmes in each one of the countries are paying off.”
With Super Rugby, as it was known, out of the equation, and Argentina’s franchise Jaguares no longer in existence, the standard of players and action in 2021 Superliga Americana is expected to be very high.
“SLAR 2021 will give players the possibility to fulfill their dreams of preparing as professionals, with adequate competition that will allow them to represent their countries in the best possible way.”