Pichot protests outside IRB offices for TriNations inclusi

Former Pumas captain Agustin Pichot has held a one man protest outside the IRB’s HQ in order to push for Argentina’s inclusion in the TriNations.

Frustrated at a perceived lack of urgency from SANZAR one of the Pumas’ sponsors “Personal” filmed Pichot outside the IRB’s Dublin office for a commercial protesting for Argentina’s entry into the TriNations series which features South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

The footage is set to be used to promote Argentina’s case for inclusion in the series who’s expansion seems to have been put on the back burner as SANZAR put all their efforts in expanding the Super 14 in order to get more money from their broadcasters.

SANZAR gave Argentina their backing to be included in the series by 2012 but also put down a series of criteria which makes their inclusion more difficult.

“Dear rugby community leaders,” Pichot says through a megaphone in the commercial.

“We come to the IRB to ask for your support in the most important match for the Pumas; Argentina in the Tri-Nations.

“Help us to convince South Africa, New Zealand and Australia to take us in. Argentinians identify with us.

“Why? Because we are survivors.

“We have the players, we have the grassroots, we have a whole nation behind us.

“We have the guts. We can add a lot to the Tri-Nations. We have earned our right to be there. Help the Pumas play the Tri.”

The commercial was done in a light-hearted way but has been endorsed by the UAR and goes some way to hinting at the desperation of a Rugby nation that beat World cup hosts France twice in France during the 2007 Rugby World cup.

Last week the UAR (Argentine Rugby Union) took the first steps to going professional and contracted 31 players using some of the funds that the IRB has given them to help them convert to professionalism.

This will help but Argentina have struggled to get game time with their Southern Hemisphere neighbours.

South Africa played a one off Test last year during the TriNations and England have two mid year matches scheduled for this year.

The All Blacks played the Pumas in Buenos Aires in 2006 and in Hamilton in 2004.

World cups aside the last time Australia scheduled a test against the Pumas was in 2002 in Buenos Aires and the time before that was in 2000 at Canberra.

In comparison England have played Australia 11 times since 2000.



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