‘They are a tough race of people’

Graham Henry says Argentina are ready for their first Rugby Championship campaign.

The World Cup-winning former All Blacks coach spent two weeks with the Pumas during the June international window as a consultant and another week before a warm-up match against Stade Francais.

‘They’ll be as ready as they can be,’ said Henry in an interview with New Zealand’s Rugby News magazine. ‘You’ve got the top three teams in the world playing in a tournament and the other one is the eighth best team in the world. So there is a considerable gap in perceived ability and historic ability.

‘But there’s no doubt the Argentines will give it their best shot,’ Henry added. ‘They are a tough race of people and they’ll be committed and will get better as time goes on. Where they finish [on the log this year], I’m not sure, I haven’t got a crystal ball, unfortunately.’

Argentina have never beaten the Springboks or All Blacks, but they did draw with the latter in 1985 and have beaten the Wallabies on four occasions (in 1979, 1983, 1987 and 1997).