IRB give Argentina $10m for TriNations entry

Rugby union’s governing body, the International Rugby Board
(IRB), on Monday pledged 10 million US dollars to help fund
Argentina’s entry into an expanded Tri Nations in 2012.

The package will see the IRB “substantially underwrite the Pumas
entry into the Southern Hemisphere’s showcase international rugby
competition with an unprecedented investment of 2.5 million dollars
per year over the period 2012-2015 subject to SANZAR conditions
being met”.

The IRB’s contribution is in addition to the multi-million
dollar investment being made by SANZAR to facilitate the inclusion
of Argentina in the Tri Nations, currently comprised of Australia,
New Zealand and South Africa.

SANZAR conditions, set in September when the decision to admit
Argentina was taken, guarantee that Argentina’s best players, many
of whom play for top clubs in Europe, will be available for the
competition, protecting the Tri Nations as the elite competition
for the Southern Hemisphere’s best players.

“This announcement represents another significant milestone in
the process of Argentina’s integration into the Tri Nations and is
an extremely exciting development for the Argentina Rugby Union and
rugby fans around the world,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

“The IRB recognises the substantial strategic financial and
operational commitment that the SANZAR Unions are making to assist
Argentina’s inclusion and we will continue to work in close
collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure a sustainable
financial platform to make Argentina’s transition as smooth as

“It is now essential that all elements are delivered, including
the participation of Argentina’s top players. I would like to
express my thanks to SANZAR for its continued commitment to the
process,” added Lapasset.

In September Argentina were conditionally invited to join the
Tri-Nations tournament from 2012.

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