Test-heavy Jaguares okay with Reds coach

They've been labelled a national team competing in a provincial competition but Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn is happy to have the Jaguares in Super Rugby.

coach brad thorn of the reds watches on during the super rugby match between the reds and the bulls at suncorp stadium in brisbane australia
Coach BRAD THORN of the Reds watches on during the Super Rugby match between the Reds and the Bulls at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

If the Jaguares are a national team in all but name that's fine with Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn.

Former Wallaby captain Phil Kearns created a stir in the aftermath of the Argentinean team's win over the NSW Waratahs last week, saying they should be booted out of Super Rugby.

Kearns argued the Jaguares made a mockery of the competition with a line-up boasting 20 of 23 players that have represented the Pumas in Test rugby.

That strength came to the fore again on Saturday as the Jaguares called on an experienced selection of reserve forwards to charge to a 34-23 win over the Reds at Suncorp Stadium.

Rather than cry foul, Thorn believes his less experienced players can only benefit from testing themselves against such a strong opposition.

"Taste that level .. embrace it," the ex-All Black said.

"I want them to play those type of teams. You don't want those good sides like the Crusaders going anywhere.

"Stay there, remain excellent teams and then, for us, let's get a feel for that. Okay, that's what it is, that's where that level is - awesome, let's work our butts off and get smarter and get better.

"Next time or whatever, let's rumble and see where it gets us ... you want a tough competition."

Reds captain Samu Kerevi also threw his support behind keeping the finals-bound Jaguares competing in Super Rugby.

"We fell short there but that's fine," Kerevi said.

"You don't want those type of teams going away, you want to mix it with them. It's an awesome challenge out there.

"Falling short? It sucks. Losing sucks but we'll work again and come back next week."


AAP