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Thread: Pumas To Join Tri Nations

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    Player Nick's Avatar
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    Pumas To Join Tri Nations

    Pumas To Join Tri Nations - Report
    26/02/2007 01:40 PM
    Duncan Johnstone
    The continued push to expand the Tri Nations rugby tournament continues to gather weight with reports suggesting Argentina could be added to the mix of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia as early as next year.

    Newspaper reports in South Africa and England suggest the move could be imminent.

    South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper quoted the International Rugby Board chief executive Mike Miller as saying the addition of the Pumas could happen in 2008 "if everyone wants it".

    The IRB clearly do. They have been open in their push to get Argentina involved in the southern hemisphere's premier tournament. Earlier this year IRB boss Dr Syd Millar said he believed that was the best place for the Pumas

    The Pumas also have strong allies in the new makeup of the South African administration.

    But whether the Pumas themselves are so keen remains to be seen. They have often said they believe they might be better placed to play in an expanded Six Nations tournament in Europe given that almost all of their top players play up there professionally.

    But they are so desperate for action they will take anything. Miller said that Argentine rugby had the right to decide where it goes next.

    "We have money burning a hole in our pockets. And we would like to invest it in bringing Argentina properly into international rugby. We are here, ready to go, but it's up to them," Miller said in a separate report in the London Sunday Times.

    Miller said the Tri Nations had regularly discussed the Argentina issue and agreed something needed to be done about it.

    "There's nothing to stop it happening next year if everyone wants it to," Miller said in the newspaper report.

    There have been suggestions that the Pumas might need to be based in South Africa to play in the tournament.

    Contract agreements might be the only stumbling block to their participation. Sanzar, who governs both the Tri Nations and Super 14, are in the second year of a five-year deal with News Ltd on both tournaments. News Ltd also provided the massive revenue for the first 10 years of Tri Nations and Super 12 rugby.

    When the deal was renegotiated any temptations to expand the championship into South America, Asia or Polynesia were overlooked in favour of adding another team from both Australia and South Africa into the Super rugby mix and simply expanding the Tri Nations to another round of matches between the All Blacks, Springboks

    There have been frequent reports of South Africa feeling they get a rough deal in the travel arrangements of the Sanzar competitions and the addition of Argentina may balance that up.

    New South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins earlier called for Argentina to be included in the Tri Nations and felt they could also have two teams in a new Super 16 championship.

    Springboks coach Jake White appears to be a fan of the concept. "If we are honest about making it a global game, we must try to accommodate Argentina. They have shown they are competitive in every way, against us, New Zealand, England and the Lions. The Tri Nations does need something fresh."

    The competitive claim needs to be measured against the harsh realities of results. The Pumas have never beaten the All Blacks in 13 tests, are yet to beat the Springboks in 11 attempts and have only four wins against the Wallabies in 17 tests.

    But they are clearly a resource that can't be ignored with rugby desperately needing to bolster its top tier.

    The Pumas regularly beat super power France and last year recorded their first win over England at Twickenham. They drew with the British and Irish Lions before the ill-fated tour of New Zealand by Sir Clive Woodward's 2005 side.

    Find this item at:
    http://xtramsn.co.nz/rugby/0,,12416-6998287,00.html
    2007 Xtra Limited

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    Veteran Contributor The EnForcer's Avatar
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    I don't mind if they do join the 6 Nations but there must be a rule about not making Scotland look stupid in the first 6 minutes of a game.

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    Just happy to be here

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    Champion prop53's Avatar
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    anything that is for the betterment of rugby

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    Player Goldmember's Avatar
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    The decision will all depend on whether or not it will generate more revenue.

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    Said it ages ago, but would be happy for them to be based in Perth if they choose!
    Makes them more central to everyone then.
    I'm all for it, it would save us from this three rounds crud with a good solid two rounds of home and away.
    Bring it on!

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    Player MysticBalls's Avatar
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    Great for the Four Nations involved. Love to see a Fiji-origin and Samoa-origin team in as well.
    Re the travel to Argentina, some airline has a direct flight over Sth Pole from Buenos Aires to Auckland. I'm wondering if same applies to an Australian airport.

    Two Argentinian teams in SuperRugby may be a spin-off of the Pumas being in the Four Nations, but its such a stretch now with their economy and security issues.

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