Jaguares likely to make Super Rugby return in 2026

Jaguares were part of the Super Rugby competition between 2016 and 2019
Jaguares were part of the Super Rugby competition between 2016 and 2019

Argentine club Jaguares is likely to make a comeback in the Super Rugby from the 2026 season.

The uncertainty around Melbourne Rebels that entered into voluntary administration in January citing financial woes has worked in favour of the Jaguares as the organisers are looking to keep it a 12-team competition.

“Most of the work about the future shape of the competition in terms of number of teams and formats is focused on 2026 and the next media rights cycle,” he said on the Rugby Direct podcast.

“Clearly the Rebels’ challenges have meant some of those conversations have been brought forward a little bit. We’re not 100 per cent sure around where the Rebels’ future sits but it’s significantly challenged at the moment.

“It’s too early to say what the number of teams are going to be. We need to find out exactly where the Rebels are at and then work through the rest of the year.

“There’s lots of different conversations as it relates to South America; North America, Japan as potentially interested parties but we need a bit more detail on that before we can comment too much further.”

Jaguares featured in Super Rugby between 2016 and 2020 while reaching the final of the 2019 edition but were excluded during the Covid hit 2020 season following which the players were asked to explore overseas options.

The club was rebranded to Jaguares XV and featured in the Súper Liga Americana de Rugby (SLAR) and went on to win the 2021 season where they remained unbeaten and reached the semi-finals in 2022.