Pumas get funding to join Tri Nations
The International Rugby Board's executive committee have ratified a financial package that moves Argentina a step closer to joining the Tri Nations tournament from 2012.
The package, worth US$10m, is to support the addition of the Pumas to the tournament, which includes New Zealand, Australia and world champions South Africa, who operate under the SANZAR banner.
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset had announced the proposal at the Global Sports Forum in Barcelona on March 9 and the money will be split into four annual payments from 2012-2015.
There has been a clamour to allow the Pumas to join either the Six Nations or Tri Nations since their outstanding performances at the 2007 World Cup in France.
"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 Union Argentina de Rugby (UAR) and rugby fans around the world," said Lapasset.
The IRB will now continue to work with SANZAR to ensure that all conditions for Argentina's entry are met. The UAR and SANZAR have also asked the IRB to amend its regulations on player release to ensure that Argentina internationals are available to take part in the tournament, a matter that will be looked at by an IRB Council meeting on May 12.