The Americas Rugby Championship ‘B’ is to begin in 2018. The new competition will be one tier below that of the Americas Rugby Championship, the annual competition involving the top six countries from the Americas.
First played in 2016, the Americas Rugby Championship involves Brazil, Canada, Chile, Uruguay, USA, and the Argentina XV. All but the Argentine matches have full test status and count towards official World Rugby Rankings.
The tournament has been a success. Many speculated that Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay would be outmatched by Rugby World Cup regulars though this has not transpired. Indeed Brazil and Uruguay have each recorded wins over both Canada and the USA.
Brazil’s victories have eased the criticism surrounding the non-involvement of Paraguay. Leading up to the 2016 tournament Paraguay was 6th and Brazil 7th in the Americas Rankings. Since then Brazil has moved ahead and remained so.
Paraguay remains in 7th ahead of 8th-ranked Colombia. The teams met in a Rugby World Cup Qualifier last November. Paraguay ran out 39-27 winners. The fixture was played at the national rugby stadium in Asunción. The venue gives Paraguay an appropriate facility and it has recently been enforced by rugby’s High Performance involvement with the national Olympic training center.
The fixture is now to become annual. Moreover it will be a part of a larger tournament. The new competition, the América Championship B, will debut in August 2018. It is to include Colombia, Paraguay, Mexico, and possibly Trinidad & Tobago.
The Four Nations competition will have two from each of Sudamérica Rugby and Americas Rugby North. Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago played separately in the recent Rugby Americas North Championship, competing in the North and South Zones respectively.
Mexico had a 2-1 record, the same as that of both the Cayman Islands and the USA South Panthers. The USA South won through to the final against Guyana who toppled Trinidad & Tobago 24-17 to win the South Zone.
As Americas Rugby News understands it neither the Cayman Islands or Guyana are to be involved in the América Championship B. Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico are presently ranked 10th and 12th in the Americas. In comparison Guyana is 9th and the Cayman Islands 11th.
The potential involvement of additional unions will be revised overtime. Also to be studied is the possibility of promotion and relegation between the América Championship B and the Americas Rugby Championship.