OpinionTuesday, January 14, 2014
Al Rugby number 200
The growth of the oval game in this country has been constant; the playing numbers increase every year and interest grows. Los Pumas are obviously the best-known team but even after two years of lean results, this growth has not stopped.
Over 110 thousand players enjoyed their rugby last season and a growth of at least 5% is expected for 2014. There are clubs in every province in the country; competition starts at club level, grows into regional and national. The pyramid is very solid: there are huge amounts of players at every level to feed the elite that is currently searching for a place in the oval world.
Rugby has a well-won space in newspapers and there are many rugby-specific publications around the country. Yet, no daily has placed such a big bet as that of sister newspaper Ámbito Financiero which tomorrow will publish the 200th edition of its Al Rugby pull-out.
Run every Wednesday, with no holidays or breaks (except the very few times newspapers were not published that day) whatever happened in the game in the country or overseas found its way into Al Rugby. With reporters in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Tucumán, Mendoza and Córdoba, it has given a great service to the rugby connoisseur, with information and opinion not found elsewhere.
From that initial issue, published on Wednesday March 10, 2010, whoever had a voice that needed to be heard found its way to Al Rugby’s pages. The opening main interview was of UAR Chairman Luis Castillo. Others followed: Puma players and captains, coaches, officials. In fact, Castillo who is coming to the end of his two-time chairmanship in March was in the front cover of last week’s edition.
In that maiden edition, the impending Four Nations was written about. It took 19 months for the formal announcement but it showed how Al Rugby would operate. Never desperate for breaking news very hard when it is a weekly publication it was always on top of what was happening; notwithstanding this, many things were first written about in its pages.
The deep oval analysis can only be possible thanks to an unparalleled team. Each one of the writers is an opinion leader in his province. Coordinated by Lisandro Olearo with the editing of Diego Mussetta, all those who contribute to Al Rugby deserve a round of applause: Eugenio Astesiano (Buenos Aires), Martín Quetglas (Córdoba), Andrés Ruiz (Cuyo), Juan Urchevich (Tucumán) and Olearo with the Litoral region work tirelessly to ensure this is a product that readers enjoy. Guillermo Buelga designs the pull-out and my role is of Special Contributor. The only thing special about Al Rugby is the pleasure of working in a solid team. It is directed by Ezequiel Jurado.
Tomorrow, to celebrate the 200th edition, a very interesting interview with former Puma captain and current UAR Council Member Agustín Pichot explains where Argentina rugby is aiming for. It is summer and even if the usual eight pages are reduced in half, rugby takes no break. Neither does Al Rugby.
Al Rugby is published every Wednesday together with Ámbito Financiero.