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South America's first professional rugby league will kick off at the end of February

By Tom Vinicombe
Mateus Estrela Tavares of Brazil fights for the ball with Juan Manuel Etcheverry during a friendly between Brazil and Uruguay in 2014. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

It’s been a long time coming, but South America will finally have a fully professional rugby league from 2020.


The Súper Liga will kick off on February 28th and bring together teams from across the continent to vie for South American supremacy.

Argentina and Uruguay both competed at the 2019 World Cup and are without a doubt the strongest two sides in South America, but a total of six nations will compete in the inaugural competition with one team based in each nation.

Joining Argentina and Uruguay are Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and Colombia, as confirmed earlier this week by South American media outlet El Ciudadano.

It’s the first time that we’ve received any sort of clarity over the competition’s make-up, with a number of potential teams and nations touted over the past year.

Continue reading below…

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Argentina, as comfortably the strongest rugby nation in the Americas, will likely provide players to a number of the teams. Their top players, however, will all be tied up with Super Rugby. Players from other non-South American nations may also prop up some of the clubs with a number of Namibian and Portuguese players expected to be revealed in the near-future.

Despite just one team existing for each nation, the clubs aren’t national sides and there’s potential for further teams to be added in the future.


The six sides are: Los Ceibos (Argentina), Peñarol (Uruguay), Corinthians (Brazil), Olimpia (Paraguay), Selknam (Chile) and Cafeteros (Colombia).

The Súper Liga will run from late February to late May and will see the top five sides compete in a home-and-away round-robin league with semis and a final.

In a somewhat strange twist, Colombia, the weakest nation, will play home-and-away fixtures against the bottom-placed side in the final weeks of the competition to determine 5th and 6th placings.

Colombia simply haven’t got the players to compete week-in and week-out over three months, which has likely determined the unusual competition format.


Strength across the board has evidently been a concern for the tournament organisers as the competition has been stripped down to five regular competitors when up to eight were touted at one point.

Regardless, it’s a step in the right direction for the region – however long-term sustainability will be the ultimate judge of success. A number of professional national competitions have been launched over the last ten years that have crumbled after just a few seasons.

Expect further information in the coming weeks with an official press conference to be held next Friday.

England attack coach Scott Wisemantel has departed the England national set-up and is expected to link up with Dave Rennie at the Wallabies:

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Red and White Dynamight 2 hours ago
Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick sinks sloppy England to win Calcutta Cup

Up the Jocks ! a great team effort and 4 victories v on the bounce v their greatest rivals for those north of Hadrians. But, of course, before the celebrations survive the first pint of McEwans, it seems for some this Calcutta Cup match was merely 1 man v 15. What exactly is it about Sth Africans that make them such insufferable bores ? you rarely see Kiwis claiming Ireland victories (incl 3 x NZers) or Aussies for that matter (X1). You never see Samoans claiming France/England victories (Tuilagis). Or Fijians claim All Black victories. Scotland have had some great Kiwi-born players (S.Lineen/B.Laney/J.Leslie) - no surprise given their heritage - but they supported them as their ‘2nd team’. If anything they applaud their countrymen for taking opportunities and bettering themselves as professionals and, hopefully, competing on the World stage too. It takes some stratospheric level of stupid to ignore the opaque boundaries and qualifications that now allow Japan to be competitive, Portugal to win a RWC game, Argentinians to play for Italy, New Zealanders to dominate Tongan and Samoan teams - and not celebrate that World Rugby is more competitive and better for it. Everywhere on social media, even when the post has zero to do with Sth Africans (schoolboy rugby being the most obvious barrel-scraping eg - these are KIDS), they pile in and try to claim the “we are better/stronger/faster” with such voluminous levels of obnoxious bile, that it poisons the mere celebration of the sport itself. These are not ‘rugby fans’ that can marvel at the Game they Play in Heaven, but rather some misplaced insecure-fuelled poison that they need to extract from deep inside their psyche. Its hard to understand the exact reason for the massive chip on their shoulders and their desperation for the victimhood/noone-loves-us-we-dont-care, but it seems accelerated with their LOTTO Cup 1-pt wins, like gasoline on the fire. Obsessed with ‘cheating’ refs and ‘cheating’ opposition (Rassies video bloopers during Lions tour; McCaw’s whole career) and celebrating their own thuggery (#JUSTICE4 the dirtiest player in pro-rugby history), when luck suddenly goes their way (1995 Final vs an acutely comprimised ABs; Kilosi<->Cane cards in 2023 Final) or their players escape adequate penalty (Etzebeth 1-handed non-intercepts; Kolbe illegal chargedown; Etzebeth cynically retreating in the AB backline) so obviously that its clearly been coached, then suddenly its AOK as long its SA that benefit directly from it. The schizophrenic nature of Sth Africans presents them as good company in person - and lets face it, theyre EVERYWHERE now and cant get out of their own country fast enough - but as anonymous keyboard ninjas their true nature shines out as one beset with a dark undercurrent of toxic self-absorption. It appears that the bravado appears only under the protection of anonymity, a cowardice of insufferable reverse-flagellation to make themselves feel proud when the mirror stares back at them. Give yourselves a long slow clap. Well done to the entire Scotland team including all those born south of Hadrians Wall. Playing a fantastic fast pace of fluid ball-in-hands rugby that seems almost foreign to other teams. Och aye the noo.

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