The Confederación Sudamericana de Rugby (CONSUR) will now be known as Sudamérica Rugby after a renaming exercise in line with World Rugby’s own re-branding last year.

“It was a decision approved unanimously by the Annual General Meeting in Santa Fe, Argentina, last month,” explained Carlos Barbieri, Chairman of Sudamérica Rugby. “With our new name we have also strengthened our operational structures.”

As of today the regional association’s website will be, with its social media accounts following suit, including @sudamericarugby.

Following the International Rugby Board’s change to World Rugby in November 2014 it was decided that the six regional associations would follow suit with Asia Rugby, Oceania Rugby, Rugby Europe and Rugby Africa having already done so.

Another bold decision made at South America’s General Meeting was to open up the design of its new logo to every rugby fan in the region, with the competition rules to be announced shortly.

Sudamérica Rugby is one of World Rugby’s six regional associations and caters for unions, federations and confederations from Guatemala in the north to Argentina in the south of the American continent. The region has 252,270 active players – 226,587 male and 25,683 female.

Member unions of Sudamérica Rugby are: Argentina (Unión Argentina de Rugby), Brazil (Confederaçao Brasilera de Rugby), Chile (Federación Chilena de Rugby), Colombia (Federación Colombiana de Rugby), Costa Rica (Federación de Rugby de Costa Rica), Ecuador (Federación Ecuatoriana de Rugby), El Salvador (Federación Salvadoreña de Rugby), Guatemala (Asociación Deportiva Nacional de Rugby de Guatemala), Panama (Unión Panameña de Rugby), Paraguay (Unión de Rugby de Paraguay), Peru (Federación Peruana de Rugby), Uruguay (Unión de Rugby del Uruguay) and Venezuela (Federación Venezolana de Rugby). Pending of full membership are the national rugby organisations of Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua and Surinam.

“We had meetings with our four new managers and two managers from World Rugby for the Americas where we aligned our plans and aims to operational goals and the actions with which we plan to achieve them,” added Barbieri, who is also a World Rugby Council Member.

“To go with the new change we are convinced we will have more presence aiming to become a model regional association, with an efficient and effective new professional structure,” concluded Barbieri who, with treasurer Julio Clement, represented the Executive Committee in the three-day workshop that was held at the Unión Argentina de Rugby headquarters.

Sudamérica Rugby continues to promote World Rugby’s mass-participation programme Get Into Rugby, having already reached more than 50,000 new participants in almost 700 activations in every country in the region, with 90 kits provided. Within the new structure, two part-time GIR officials have been recruited.

In terms of education, there have been 246 courses (22 per cent of World Rugby courses around the globe) and close to 75,000 online courses (31 per cent). Areas covered in these courses include coaching, medical, physical preparation, women’s rugby and leadership for officials.

Committees for Anti-Doping, Discipline, Medical and Competition have also been set up.

With regards to competition, Sudamérica Rugby has grown its sevens competitions by 30 per cent and fulfilled its whole competition programme, including male and female in different age groups and levels.