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March 22, 2021 3 min read

Since 1910, Argentina has journeyed to become one of the most formidable opponents on the rugby world stage. The squad has appeared in every Rugby World Cup since 1987 and has frequently upset top nations in test matches. Rugby was first introduced to Argentina by British immigrants who made up most of Argentina’s original teams. As the sport gained popularity, the squad filled with native players who proved to have a tenacity that would propel them into the international spotlight. Argentina is the only Spanish speaking national team in the IRB top 20 world rankings, and in a sport dominated by mostly European and Commonwealth countries, has come to represent an entire continent.

1910 - Argentina plays its first international rugby match against the British Isles team during a tour of South America.

1927 - Due to the rapid growth of rugby within Argentina and its neighboring countries, Argentina is able to field a team made up entirely of Argentines to play against the British and Irish Lions. This team dons the light blue and white jersey for the first time.

1950s - Argentina dominates South American rugby tournaments throughout the 1950s.

1965 - Argentina tours South Africa and wins eleven of 15 matches. It is on this tour that the team is nicknamed 'Los Pumas' by a reporter who mistakes the jaguar on the team’s emblem for a Puma.

1965 - Since 1965, Los Pumas have been a challenging opponent for the world’s top teams. 

1968 - Wales tours Argentina and Los Pumas win the series with a victory and a tie.

1976 - Argentina narrowly loses to Wales, at the time the best team in the Northern Hemisphere.

1985 - Argentina has an outstanding 21-21 draw with New Zealand.

1987 - Argentina competes in the first Rugby World Cup and every world cup since.

1999 - Argentina has high expectations for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, but loses to France in the quarter finals.

2007 - A much improved Argentina rugby squad becomes the first team from outside the ‘Six Nations’ or ‘Tri Nations’ competitions to reach the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup. Beginning with a win over host-nation France, the team goes on to be undefeated in their pool. Los Pumas ultimately lose in the semi-finals to South Africa who eventually wins the trophy.  A second win over France gives Argentina 3rd place overall and an all-time high of 3rd in the world rankings. This performance catapults the sport of rugby in Argentina.  

2011 - Argentina has another impressive performance in the 2011 Rugby World Cup and is included in the Rugby Championship (formerly known as the Tri Nations) to play against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

2014 - Argentina defeats Australia for a first Championship -match win.

2015 - Los Pumas earn their first win over South Africa in the Rugby Championship and make it to the semi-final match of the RWC.

2016 - Los Pumas again defeat the Springboks in the Rugby Championship.

2018 - Argentina defeats both South Africa and Australia in the Rugby Championship.

2020- Argentina defeats New Zealand for the first time.

Argentina’s uniform sports the colors of the country’s flag - light blue and white - and has a logo boasting a jaguar, an animal native to Argentina and one with “agility and courage”.

Los Pumas, managed by Union Argentina de Rugby (UAR), has proven to be a threat to the greatest rugby teams in the world, especially when competing on their home field in Buenos Aires.


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