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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 October, 2003, 08:01 GMT 09:01 UK
Pichot lashes rugby bosses
Agustin Pichot plays with the ball during training in Sydney on Tuesday
Pichot says the Argentina need help to fulfil their potential
Argentina captain Agustin Pichot says the world rugby authorities are letting the game down.

Pichot is frustrated that Argentina have not been helped to develop by the International Rugby Board (IRB).

The South Americans are isolated from the traditional rugby powers and do not have an annual competition to play in.

Despite those handicaps they could give Australia a tough time when they meet the world champions in the opening game of the World Cup on Friday.

But Pichot believes the Pumas could pose a much greater threat if they were given more support by the IRB.

"The IRB need to decide what they want - a so-called World Cup, where the same four teams get to the semi-finals every time it is held, or a real competition where 16 teams have a chance to reach the quarter-finals," said Pichot.

"We did well to reach the last eight four years ago but since then we have had no help at all.

"Teams have come on tour but three important games a year is no good to anyone.

Sometimes you have to forget about the economics and think about the game as a whole.
Agustin Pichot
"Then you look at the problems Fiji, Tonga and Samoa are having just to get the release of their players - you can't carry on like this.

"Sometimes you have to forget about the economics and think about the game as a whole.

"And, because the major unions only care about themselves and finances, the lead has to come from the IRB.

"They are the only ones who can apply pressure for us to be allowed into the major competitions."

There have been calls for Argentina to play in the southern hemisphere Tri-Nations competition, while Pichot has suggested an Argentine side should take part in the Super 12 provincial tournament.

The current Tri-Nations and Super 12 television contracts are due to expire in two years and the IRB has hinted in private that change is being contemplated.

However, any alterations to the current structure would require approval from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa as well as the TV companies.

Links to more Argentina stories


Pumas wary of Wallaby threat
06 Oct 03  |  Argentina
Pichot on the defensive
01 Oct 03  |  Argentina
Pichot targets Tri-Nations
24 Sep 03  |  Argentina
Pichot back from the brink
24 Sep 03  |  Argentina

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