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Where are they now: The last Jaguares team to play in Super Rugby

By Liam Heagney
The Jaguares break for water in their final Super Rugby match in Durban in March 2020 (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Time flies. Three years ago to this very day – March 7, 2020 – the Jaguares played their last-ever Super Rugby match. Having spectacularly reached the 2019 final in just their fourth campaign since formation, they arrived into the new season looking to go one better than defeat in the tournament decider at Crusaders.

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Having begun the competition with three home games in Buenos Aires, the Jaguares were in South Africa when they became an endangered species.

A 33-19 round six defeat at the Sharks marked the end of their three-game tour and despite flying home for the following weekend’s scheduled home match versus the Highlanders, the fixture was ultimately scrapped and declared a 0-0 draw due to the pandemic.

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With borders closed and the tournament suspended, the Jaguares were no more as there was no one for them to play when rugby eventually did restart. History will treat them kindly as they were a franchise with some clout, winning 36 of the 72 matches they did get to play.

However, with the plug distressingly pulled, players with a frantic scramble to find alternative employment. Here, RugbyPass checks out what happened to the last Jaguares team to play in Super Rugby 36 months ago to this very day:

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15. Joaquin Tuculet
The seasoned full-back, who played at two World Cups, re-emerged post-stoppage at Toronto Arrows but he played just a single MLR season and announced his retirement from playing at the age of 32 in April 2022 after lining out for Los Tilos, the local Argentine club where it had all started for him.

14. Santiago Carreras
It was December 2020 when the soon-to-be 25-year-old utility back was first snapped up by Gloucester until the end of the 2020/21 season but he is still at Kingsholm, this season becoming their regular out-half after starring for Argentina in that position – including the win away to the All Blacks in Christchurch – in The Rugby Championship.

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13. Matias Moroni
Spoke exclusively to RugbyPass last weekend about how the closure of the Jaguares impacted him. Signed by Leicester in July 2020, the soon-to-be 32-year-old admirably demonstrated his professionalism by playing a star part in Tigers’ title final win over Saracens last June just weeks after the club broke their promised contract extension. Leicester’s loss became Newcastle’s gain as he is now firing for them ahead of what he hopes will be selection for a third World Cup with the Pumas.

12. Jeronimo de la Fuente
The skipper for Jaguares’ last-ever Super Rugby game went on to make Perpignan his home and is now in his second season in the Top 14 following 2020/21 promotion from Pro D2. Another 30-something midfielder whose sights are firmly set on making it to another World Cup.

11. Emiliano Boffelli
It was December 2020 when Racing 92 signed the winger with the big boot. The scorer of 25 Argentina points in their recent win over England at Twickenham signed for Edinburgh in 2021/22, and it was last December when the Scottish club confirmed a fresh two-year deal that will take the 28-year-old through to the end of the 2024/25 campaign.

10. Joaquin Diaz Bonilla
The soon-to-be 34-year-old has had a varied adventure since Jaguares folded. A September 2020 deal with Leicester resulted in only a handful of appearances that season before a switch to the URC/Currie Cup Sharks. Is now attached to Old Glory DC in the MLR.

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9. Gonzalo Bertranou
It was February 2021 when the scrum-half was signed by Dragons on a short-term deal that went on to become something more permanent as the 29-year-old is still with the Welsh franchise and part of Argentina’s plans for the upcoming World Cup.

1. Mayco Vivas
The 24-year-old loosehead stayed on in Argentina, playing for the Jaguares XV in the Super Liga Americana and keeping his hand in with the Pumas before getting picked up by Gloucester in October. Unfortunately suffered an arm injury on Test duty and has yet to debut in the Premiership.

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2. Julian Montoya
It was January 2021 when the hooker was signed by Leicester, going on to become one of the best recruits of the Steve Borthwick era. Extended his deal there shortly after the 2022 Premiership title victory and is set to skipper Argentina at the World Cup.

3. Joel Sclavi
Another prop who initially hung on in Buenos Aires to play for Jaguares XV in the Super Liga Americana. Having had experience in France prior to that at Soyaux-Angouleme and Pau, the 28-year is now in his second season at La Rochelle, whom he helped win the Champions Cup last May, while also progressing to represent the Pumas.

4. Guido Petti Pagadizaval
The 28-year-old lock quickly found a new home at Bordeaux and it was December 2021 when he extended his deal through to the end of the 2024/25 season. An injury last September on Argentina duty, though, has since scuppered his momentum.

5. Matias Alemanno
Another lock who was quickly in demand once the Jaguares finished, signing for Gloucester for the August 2020 restart. The 31-year-old is still at Kingsholm and also remains a Test team regular, starting all three recent Autumn Nations Series matches.

6. Tomas Lezana
It was at Western Force where the back-rower picked up the pieces after the Jaguares. Now nearing the end of his second season at Scarlets in the URC, the 28-year-old has fallen by the wayside for the Pumas.

7. Marcos Kremer
The 25-year-old was another to quickly find a home in the Top 14 where the completion of his third season at Stade Francais will be followed this summer by the switch to Clermont. Still packs down for the Pumas at openside but his Parisian club have recently utilised him mostly at lock.

8. Rodrigo Bruni
Vannes in Pro D2 was where the 29-year-old first moved to for a two-year stay. Is now at Brive in the Top 14 after three appearances off the bench in the 2022 Rugby Championship.

Replacements:
16. Santiago Socino
Another who has become a favourite at Gloucester in the past three seasons, the 30-year-old is still involved with Pumas.

17. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
It was January 2021 when the 33-year-old loosehead pitched up at Bristol on a short-term deal. Is now finishing his second season at Benetton in Italy while also remaining in Michael Cheika’s Test squad plans.

18. Santiago Medrano
Another who went the Western Force route after Jaguares. The 26-year-old was then signed by Worcester, but their collapse has seen him return to Perth to continue in Super Rugby. Given a rare cap in Argentina’s most recent outing, the November hammering by Scotland.

19. Lucas Paulos
Brive in the Top 14 is where you will find the 25-year-old lock who is nearing the end of his third season there. Was a sub in all three of Argentina’s most recent games.

20. Santiago Grondona
It was November 2021 when the flanker was unveiled as an Exeter signing but a fall down the pecking order this season saw him exit for Pau in February. Has also slipped off the Pumas radar.

21. Sebastian Cancelliere
March 2021 was when Glasgow agreed to a deal for the winger and the 29-year-old is still going strong at the end of his second season in Scotland. No longer part of the Pumas scene, though.

22. Domingo Miotti
The third player who exited the Jaguares for Western Force in 2020, the 26-year-old out-half is another who has been a good fit for Glasgow where he is in his second season. Out of the loop with the Pumas.

23. Santiago Chocobares
Returned to playing with the Jagaures XV in Super Liga Americana before a short-term hook-up with Toulouse led to a two-year deal through to the end of 2022/23 for the soon-to-be 24-year-old midfielder. Only recently back in action after an ACL injury.

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