Jaguares coach Raul Perez says his side is aiming to make the Super Rugby finals, despite it being their first year in the competition.

New Super Rugby franchises have traditionally struggled in their first few seasons, but Perez believes his side can buck the trend.

“We know we have a very good squad but on the other hand we realise it’s our first year in the competition and we’ll have to face many new things,” Perez told Reuters.

“We are very proud that many experts consider us as a potentially strong force in Super Rugby but we must be cognisant of our inexperience and having to play at a much higher level than we are used to, week in and week out. We have to be cautious.

“Reaching the playoffs will be a fantastic outcome for us,” said the 50-year-old former Argentina international, who served as one of the country’s assistant coaches under Daniel Hourcade at last year’s Rugby World Cup.

“I believe we can achieve it because we have a good team but it will be a challenge with all the travel that we face.”

There are three new teams in the competition this season, with the Kings, from South Africa and the Sunwolves, from Japan, joining the Jaguares from Argentina.