Rugby Championship News

Argentina’s future is in the TriNations





A global Rugby Forum hosted by the International Rugby Board in Woking, England, concluded yesterday evening with the establishment of a series of measures that are designed to continue the phenomenal growth of Rugby.

The forum was originally intended to try and work out how a global season could be achieved and that still is probably the long term goal but it will take years to get right.

What did come out of the forum is that Argentina’s future lies in the Southern Hemisphere.
The IRB released a press statement which includes the following extracts.
The IRB agreed to the full integration of Argentina into the senior International calendar and the basis of a four-year transition programme to achieve that aim.

The Argentinean delegates worked tirelessly with the major Unions and the IRB to build and agree a blueprint for the future which through a four-year transition programme will lead to the full integration of Argentina into the senior international playing calendar. This would mean that Argentina will play the same number of top class Tests as the other Tier 1 Unions.

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The Forum agreed that the Pumas future lies in the Southern Hemisphere. However, in the short-term there are major hurdles to the integration of Argentina into the Southern playing structure because the majority of their top players are based in Europe which leads to many practical and player welfare issues.

However, the UAR made a commitment to have its players contracted to the Union and for the majority of its players to be based in Argentina by 2012. The Forum agreed to assist Argentina to put in place pathways to get the players back to Argentina and to develop the next generation of home-grown Argentinean players, the majority of whom will hopefully play their top-flight Rugby based in Argentina. This includes looking at new competition structures in Argentina, the Americas and elsewhere.

This transition programme for Argentina includes:

Steadily increasing the number and calibre of Test matches the Pumas play between 2008 and 2010 (2011 being a Rugby World Cup year) from the present six to nine per year.

The Pumas to play four Tests in the June window (instead of the current three), three in the November window and two during the European 6 Nations window. This follows the agreement of the French and English clubs to release players during the 6 Nations window for the next three years.

The progressive development of professional Rugby structures in Argentina during this period to develop player depth and to ensure that eventually the majority of top-class players stay in Argentina to play their Rugby so that Argentina can be fully integrated into the Southern top-flight Rugby playing structure.

What this appears to mean in short is the Argentina will relocate their players to Argentina over the next fours and when that time frame is over they will be included in “Southern top-flight Rugby playing structure” which can only mean the TriNations.

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