Deans backs Pumas’ inclusion

Australia head coach Robbie Deans has welcomed the decision to invite Argentina to join the Tri Nations from 2012 onwards. [more]

Deans backs Pumas’ inclusion

Australia head coach Robbie Deans has welcomed the decision to invite Argentina to join the Tri Nations from 2012 onwards.

The Pumas have finally been granted a place at the top table and the Wallaby boss believes it is a step forward for the game in the southern hemisphere.

Argentina, who finished third at the 2007 World Cup and are currently ranked sixth in the world, will have to ensure their best players are available for the tournament but Deans envisages few problems if the tournament’s expansion is given International Rugby Board backing.

"It’s fantastic and I don’t see any reason why it can’t be achieved,” Deans told AAP.

"Obviously a lot of the top Argentinean players are based in the United Kingdom, but I see no reason why the International Rugby Board shouldn’t endorse the competition. 

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"If they do that and insist on those players being released from club obligations – particularly the timing of the competition, it’s early in the (European) season – it’s nothing that the UK clubs don’t experience with their competitions. If they endorse it, then it’s a really exciting addition to SANZAR rugby.”

The decision to include Argentina has been met with widespread approval across the leading rugby nations, with All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith stating that ‘it will freshen the competition’ and ‘add new faces’.

If the conditions of entry are met by the Argentine Rugby Union then the new Four Nations tournament will be played on a straightforward home and away format, with each team playing six games. 

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