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IRB pleased with Argentina’s TriNations offer

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World rugby’s governing body on Monday hailed the invitation extended to Argentina to join an expanded Tri-Nations series from 2012 as a “significant milestone” in the development of the sport.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has worked hard to find a way of providing Argentina with regular competition outside of World Cup years and its chairman, Bernard Lapasset, voiced his delight that a solution has now been found, albeit one that is subject to a number of conditions.

“Today’s announcement is extremely exciting for the Union Argentina de Rugby (UAR) and rugby fans around the world,” Lapasset said.

“It is a significant milestone.” Agustin Pichot, who captained the Pumas to third place at the 2007 World Cup, said regular matches against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia would be a shot in the arm for rugby in Argentina.

“I can’t express the joy of what this means for me and the whole team at the UAR who have been working on this important project,” he said.

“We are delighted to now get the chance to become a great Rugby nation with the chance to play top level international Rugby on an annual basis.

“This exciting development will be vital to growing the game across Argentina and South America.”

The invitation to Argentina to join a new Four Nations tournament is conditional on the UAR being able to ensure that the country’s best players, who are mostly based in Europe, are available for matches.

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