Rugby Championship News

Argentina told to wait until after 2011 for TriNations





Argentina who shocked the rugby world and came third at the 2007 World Cup will have to wait for at least four more years before they can join a major annual international tournament according to an International Rugby Board (IRB) official.

Argetina are the only Top 10 team that is not involved in a regular competition like the Six or TriNations and given that the Six Nations is more profitable than the TriNations they had hoped to join the Six Nations.

In addition most of their players play their club rugby in the northern hemisphere.

Mark Egan, head of IRB rugby services, however has said that Argentina’s likelier destination was the Tri-Nations competition with South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

“For some time there has not been any unanimous agreement on the way forward for the UAR and this was highlighted by no planning to capitalise on the World Cup success of the Pumas,”

“It became evident that there was no prospect of expanding the Six Nations due to the complex nature of the northern season and the fact that expanding it would greatly impinge on the professional club season which would be unacceptable to the clubs,” Egan said.

“The natural fit is for Argentina, which lies in the south, to play in the southern hemisphere.” he told the Guardian.

“Broadcast and commercial agreements really mean that the earliest mooted time would be post rugby World Cup 2011.

“It requires a transition period of planning and development and the first step is to increase the number of tests the Pumas play while Sanzar reviews its tournament structures,” he said referring to the organisation grouping the Tri-Nations contestants.

“This assumes that the UAR is ready to join and has the necessary structures in place.”

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