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No Argentina in TriNations until 2012 at least




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Argentina’s inclusion in an expanded Tri Nations is unlikely to be actioned before 2012 according to New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew.

Following a meeting with the IRB and the 10 tier one nations which is made up of the Six Nations teams, Tri Nations and Argentina it was agreed that Argentina’s inclusion would be prioritised.

This comes on the back of a successful world cup for Argentina in 2007 where they beat the hosts France twice and came third.

In an interview following the IRB meeting Tew said that he welcomed the latest discussions but warned that the problem would not be solved overnight.

“Nothing would happen before 2012 because they need that much time to get their house in order,” he told Radio Sport.
“That’s the date they’ve told us would be the most likely.

“The reality is that logic says they would fit nicely into the Tri Nations, other than the cost and the logistics, so we really need everyone to commit to the fact that some funding would be available, probably from the IRB coffers, to assist that process.

“It’s really a world rugby issue and everybody effectively agreed Argentina was a priority and that they needed them in the Tri-Nations from 2012 onwards and if that requires the IRB to spend some of world rugby’s money to help that happen then so be it. That means they [Argentina] can go away and start planning it in a bit more detail.”

Tew also said that the meeting had also put paid to the chance of moving the June international window which New Zealand were in favour of.

“There is no doubt from listening to the northern hemisphere unions that they are not prepared to move the June window,” he added.

“There is no easy solution to that time period so we might as well stop kidding ourselves and get on and find a different answer.”

Following the meeting everyone agreed to look at longer Rugby tours with mid week games in order to cut down on the current situation where Northern Hemisphere teams tour with second string players which devalues the Tests.

“I don’t think we should jump to the conclusion that we will have England come down here and play the All Blacks, Canterbury, the All Blacks, Wellington, the All Blacks and Otago and then the All Blacks again. I think that’s a bit optimistic,” Tew added.

“But certainly put midweek games into the mix as we work on the detail. The key thing will be that they come for a period of time. They will come for more than one game. It will be a series that has a winner and that gives it much more meaning.”

Tew added that if Northern Hemisphere teams continued to take second string/weakened teams on tour then they would play hardball.

“Our fallback option is to go to a completely deregulated environment where we simply don’t have a schedule and every country is able to negotiate tours they want,” he said.

“We will simply say ‘if you’re not going to come down here and play ball with us, we ain’t going north’.”

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