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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 18:17 GMT
Argentina miss out on Six Nations
Argentina stars Felipe Contepomi (left) and Juan Martin Hernandez in action during the 2007 World Cup in France
Argentina will have to wait before entering the Tri-Nations
World Cup surprise package Argentina have been told their future lies in the Tri-Nations rather than the Six Nations by the International Rugby Board (IRB).

The Tri-Nations is run by South Africa, New Zealand and Australia (Sanzar), who will negotiate a new TV deal in 2010.

And it will be several years at least before Argentina are admitted.

"In the short term there are major hurdles to the integration of Argentina into the southern playing structure," said the IRB.

The Pumas had a superb World Cup, becoming the first team from outside the Six Nations and Tri-Nations to reach the semi-finals.

Their performance let to demands from fans around the world that the South Americans, who do not have regular high-level competition, be included in either the Six Nations or the Tri-Nations as soon as possible.

As a consolation for missing out on quick entry to either of the events the Pumas have been awarded more Test matches each year.

They will be given nine matches a year, up from six, while it is expected they will also be entered into the Churchill Cup.

Among their new internationals will be two during the Six Nations window following the agreement of English and French clubs to release their Pumas for the matches.

One of the main stumbling blocks ahead of Argentina entering the Tri-Nations is the IRB's requirement for them to have most of their players based in the country.

At the moment Argentina's domestic game is amateur and as a result all of their top players earn their living abroad, almost exclusively in Europe.

"The Argentinian Rugby Union (UAR) has made a commitment to have their players contracted to the union and for the majority of their players to be based in Argentina by 2012," said the IRB.

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