Argentina has moved a step closer to joining an expanded Tri Nations rugby competition in 2012 after the International Rugby Board announced that it will provide a crucial 14 million dollar funding package to support the programme.
The package, ratified by the IRB Executive Committee, will see the Game's governing body substantially underwrite the Pumas entry into the Southern Hemisphere's showcase competition with an unprecedented investment of 3 and a half million dollars a year for 4 years 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.
SANZAR conditions include a guarantee that Argentina's best players will be available for the competition, protecting the Tri Nations as the elite competition for the Southern Hemisphere's best players.
In order to achieve this key condition, the UAR and the SANZAR Unions have formally requested the IRB to amend Regulation 9, which governs international player availability. The IRB Council will now consider amending the scope of the Regulation at its May 12th meeting.