2018 TOUR: WILDCATS HEAD TO LAND OF THE PUMAS
Argentina has emerged as a powerhouse in World Rugby the past decade, reaching the semfinal in two of the past three World Cups.
August 11- Arizona has made a major announcement ahead of the coming season, revealing the program's plans to tour Argentina this Spring.
The Wildcats will embark on the journey during the university's spring break, spending eight days in March in the South American nation and competing against some of the country's best sides. Today's announcement marks the return of tours to the Arizona Rugby landscape, with many previous teams in the past having toured New Zealand, Australia, Wales, England, and Scotland.
While the tour will have business for the Wildcats to
take care of, the team-bonding and experience of
Argentina will also provide a once in a lifetime
opportunity for the players, coaches, and staff.
Head Coach Sean Duffy pointed to the traditions of
the club, the direction of the current program, and the
nature of the sport as all factors in leading to the team's
decision. "It's something that we started discussing
following the season, and an idea that we didn't want to
go forward with unless we had buy-in from the team,
alumni, and university. We've secured that without a
doubt and it's going to be a fantastic experience.
When I first came to Arizona, I began to learn more about the special traditions of the club. Touring overseas is clearly one of them thanks to the efforts of great men like Dave Sitton and Mike Veth. As coaches we've increasingly come to appreciate the tour experience as an important part of high performance development, with teams such as Saint Mary's already utilizing this. More and better competition will serve us well as we make a push for a championship this year and beyond."
Argentina has emerged as a global power in world Rugby in the past decade, reaching the semifinals in the 2007 and 2015 Rugby World Cups and also joining The Rugby Championship featuring New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia. They have also launched a Super Rugby franchise, with the Jaguares joining the competition in 2016. Arizona starts their preseason at the end of this month returning the vast majority of the side that reached the final four in 2017 to go along with soon to be announced recruiting class.
The tour has wide-ranging implications for the university and the alumni as well. While the players will have a great experience, alumni and parents will also be invited on a Supporters' Tour. "I think it would be great if alumni and parents wants to be a part of this" said Duffy "from potentially organizing a match against men's clubs, to the social aspects of the beaches, golf, and wining and dining, it could be a great week and a unique opportunity for our alumni to connect with the current generation of Wildcats."
The University of Arizona has continued to grow their reputation as one of the world's most relevant great universities through engaging the strongest of international students, scholars and partners, both domestically and abroad. By engaging our students and faculty in issues and opportunities of global relevance and building substantive relationships with scholars, institutions and governments, the university creates opportunities for strategic investment in achieving these goals.