KSA Shark ©

IRB change boosts Argentina, all but kills the Currie Cup

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :All Blacks, Currie Cup, In the news, Springboks, Wallabies on 13 May 2010 at 22:12
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Sanzar has welcomed an International Rugby Board (IRB) rule change which clears the way for Argentina to join a new Four Nations competition in 2012.

At its council meeting this week, the IRB decided to alter regulation nine which governs the release of players for international duty, thereby meeting a condition set by Sanzar that Argentina were required to field their best players to participate in the Four Nations tournament.

The NZPA reports that the change, set to take effect from June 1, 2012, will ensure that the release period for the new Four Nations aligns with the new dates for the competition from late August through until early October.

At present Argentina’s players with European clubs are only released for the June and November international test windows and the Pumas are the only team in the world’s top 10 who do not compete in an annual international tournament.

“This is the merit of a lot of people, a lot of history written on the pitch and especially in 2007 because it was the catalyst to open this opportunity,” former Pumas captain Agustin Pichot, who was at the meeting, was quoted as saying.

Pichot led the Pumas to third place in the World Cup in France, a result that helped speed up effort to get Argentina their much sought-after place on the annual international calendar.

“There was a lot of hard work for this…I personally feel today that a struggle of many years has been closed, today we’re part of the world, as we deserved,” UAR ambassador Pichot said.

Pumas coach Santiago Phelan, referring to the Tri-Nations, said: “What a great challenge to play against the best teams and players in the world. We’re going to have to continue preparing to improve constantly.

“The Tri-Nations is the toughest tournament in the world, physically and tactically. We have to get to 2012 in the best shape possible and we’re on it since our great objective today is the 2011 World Cup.”

In September, Sanzar issued an invitation to the Pumas to join the competition from 2012, subject to several conditions which have now been resolved.

Negotiation of a participation agreement with Argentina Rugby (UAR) remains the last hurdle for inauguration of the new competition alongside the All Blacks, Wallabies and Springboks.

“Now we must keep working because there are still many things to do and we have to be ready,” said Manuel Galindo, head of the UAR’s High Performance subcommittee.

Sanzar and New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew described the change as an exciting step for Sanzar and for world rugby

“… it confirms Argentina’s participation in a top-flight rugby competition, which they thoroughly deserve, and will add a dynamic new element to the current Tri-Nations, which is already regarded as one of the world’s toughest tournaments.

“We now need to finalise a participation agreement with the UAR so we can move to full planning for the introduction of Argentina in 2012.”

The IRB confirmed in March that it would match Sanzar and provide an investment of $US2.5 million ($NZ3.5 million) per annum from 2012 to 2015.

Sanzar also confirmed today that the three Sanzar unions and their Super rugby teams will work with the UAR to look at providing greater opportunities for Argentinean players to play in Super rugby teams as part of the lead-up to the new Four Nations.

IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset welcomed the likelihood of Argentina joining the competition.

“Today’s announcement represents an historic milestone in the process of Argentina’s integration into an expanded Tri-Nations tournament and is an extremely exciting development for UAR and rugby around the world.”


  • will ensure that the release period for the new Four Nations aligns with the new dates for the competition from late August through until early October.

    Well that is just plain fuckedup!!!!!!!!!

    On TWO fronts!!!!!!!!
    1) When will the Boks ever play CC Rugby again? 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿
    2) I keep my season tickets in Dbn for the major reason that i usually get to watch a test match during my June July windo of vaction. 👿 👿

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.05.10 22:16:26 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • At present Argentina’s players with European clubs are only released for the June and November international test windows and the Pumas are the only team in the world’s top 10 who do not compete in an annual international tournament.

    So we have the June July test window, the 4 nations runs from Aug to Oct. Will the Argies be released from June to Oct.

    i think one of the reasons for them having so many players in Europe is beacuse their schedule fits the European schedule. Now if the Argies are out for so long the attraction to get them to play in Europe will be lost. No?

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.05.10 22:30:08 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • What crap! This won’t effect the Currie Cup more than Tri Nations has. And next year the Super 15 does more damage to the Currie Cup than the Four nations tournament would do. If anything this will make the Currie Cup more exciting, because it keeps the Boks out of the top teams, levelling the rugby field for the smaller unions in the tournament. This will also help the depth in SA Rugby, as playing our top 60 players all year hasn’t helped give the guys that could easily play first team of the smaller Unions but stagnate on the bench a good chance to get the experience up. If the Currie Cup is reworked a little it could actually be a better tournament than it has been of late. Imagine the strength of the top 4 sa unions in the Super 15 when they have a larger pool of players to take from.

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.05.10 07:38:47 by try time Reply
  • @try time (Comment 3) : I’m with oubaas… it’s going to tun the Currie Cup into Vodacom Cup part 2

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.05.10 07:51:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • Added to this the 4 nation tournament won’t be longer than the tri nations is, because you will have all the teams playing every weekend. where currently a team twiddles their fingers for a couple of weekends before they play. It will also make the tournie more intense. One suggestion would be to play the tournie in one country each year. so each country would host the tournie every four years. This will also bring more spectators to the grounds. They could have the first tournament in Argentina to boost the interest of the game in their country and boost the coffers of the union so they can afford to field a quality team, and have money to grow their game.

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.05.10 07:57:13 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 3) : ❓

    Now you have fallen off the wagon.

    If anything this will make the Currie Cup more exciting, because it keeps the Boks out of the top teams ❓ ❓ ❓ ❓ ❓ ❓

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.05.10 07:58:48 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • So the inevitable has happened, professional rugby has killed CC rugby.

    For those out there hoping for club rugby to make a return, CC has taken it’s place for good.

    This is a sad thing.

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.05.10 07:59:50 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : it is already been turned into that with the introduction of the s15. the four nations isn’t any longer than the tri nations. this year we don’t have boks playing in the cc. so how is this suddenly going to change the currie cup from where it is at the moment. weren’t you whining that rhodes and downey weren’t getting enough quality game time? here is their chance. you actually put an article up yesterday saying we should use our depth. i don’t see the difference. this will be good for sa rugby as it takes the top players out and gives the talent rotting on the benches time to prove themselves.

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.05.10 08:01:33 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) : so you enjoyed it last year when the sharks “b” team played well and got themselves into the playoffs, then the boks came back and actually ruined all the good work that was done. weren’t they blamed by everyone for the sharks not getting into the final. people have short memories.

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.05.10 08:03:45 by try time Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 7) :

    It starts tommorrow afternoon when SS! will be showing the crusaders play Old Boys live. 😛

    16:40-18:15 SS1 Kzn Premier Division Club Rugby Crusaders v Old Boys LIVE

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.05.10 08:04:18 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • the sharks were actually more exciting without their bok stars. you guys also complain that the top players are getting burnt out from too much rugby, but now you want them to also play currie cup. you have double standards.

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.05.10 08:04:56 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 9) :

    Well not everyone Coz I wasn’t one of those.

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.05.10 08:05:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 7) : professional rugby killed currie cup rugby 15 years ago.

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.05.10 08:05:47 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 11) :

    That is not double standars, the top players will not play LESS Rugby becasue they will still be playing for the Boks when not playing CC and I think CC is a little less intense than Test Rugby.

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.05.10 08:06:46 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 12) : so you were pleased the sharks lost to the cheetahs in the semi? ok then i apologise.

  • Comment 15, posted at 14.05.10 08:06:59 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 15) :
    Stop putting words in my mouth, I said i wasn’t blaming the Boks. i didn’t say i was pleased we lost. 😕

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.05.10 08:10:36 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : a tackle by a or a tackle to a 105 kilogram guy is the same in test rugby as it is in currie cup. a few too many of those burns players out. the bok players only get back in time for the playoffs, which is almost the equivilent of test match rugby, so i disagree. it is also a kick in the teeth of the players that won all the games that got the team into the playoffs as they must move over for the burnt out bok stars.

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.05.10 08:10:51 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : but everyone put the blame at the door of the burnt out players that returned to the sharks. so they were the cause we lost, so i don’t need to put words in your mouth.

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.05.10 08:12:22 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 18) :

    there you go saying everyone again.

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.05.10 08:13:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : allowing more players to play first class rugby will actually strengthen the depth of quality players in sa. these players can then be drawn upon to allow the big stars a chance to recover, meaning less burnouts better rugby. simple logic. so i think the s15 and four nations could actually strengthen rugby in sa and make it more exciting.

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.05.10 08:15:25 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : sorry i was meaning everyone in the sharks camp. thats pretty much where it counts.

  • Comment 21, posted at 14.05.10 08:16:13 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 20) :

    So 2nd string playing against other 2nd string players will strengthen the game?? Maybe we should see if we can get a competition for 2nd tier player to play in while the S14 is ongoing. Oh wait???????……….

    How will a team (read Lions and Cheetahs) that has lost no players to the Boks achieving CC success make for better Rugby? That has already happened a few times and both teams are STILL crap.

  • Comment 22, posted at 14.05.10 08:21:58 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • everyone needs to look out the box. basically as of next year the currie cup (as you want it) gets played in the pool games of the s15. saru should actually create a trophy for the sa team that ends top of the log. the currie cup later in the year now is very similar to the currie cup pre professionalism, where smaller teams play a bigger a role and make the game a less one sided affair. i think it is actaually great for sa. i have heard a few people moaning because they don’t see much of the future stars of sharks rugby, because vc isn’t shown on tv and the sharks don’t use these youngsters in the s14. well the cc is now the perfect platform to gauge the sharks depth. i am a convert. the scales have been washed from my eyes.

  • Comment 23, posted at 14.05.10 08:27:49 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 20) : Not really, the top teams will have a bigger pool of players bought during the CC, thus depleting the smaller unions completely. You’ll have the top 5 teams with an A and B squad for voda-cup duty. And the smaller unions will still only ever be competitive playing each other.

  • Comment 24, posted at 14.05.10 08:29:28 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 22) : so what good did the bulls romping home against the eagles, pumas, border, falcons etc do to the improvement of rugby in this country? the big unions thrashing the small unions does more damage than a fairer cc would do. look at the great lions. losing has ruined the psyche of the players. thats what professionalism did to the small unions. so don’t blame the 4 nations of killing the currie cup.

  • Comment 25, posted at 14.05.10 08:31:41 by try time Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 24) : no different to what is happening now. but at least giving the smaller unions players more tastes of victory will start developing a winning culture in the smaller unions.

  • Comment 26, posted at 14.05.10 08:34:00 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 26) : A winning culture is no replacement for game time of which they’ll have very little.

  • Comment 27, posted at 14.05.10 08:35:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • basically s15 and 4n are happening, so you can either sit and sulk. or actually look at it positively. i choose the latter.

  • Comment 28, posted at 14.05.10 08:36:14 by try time Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 27) : rubbish. playing 10 games but getting thrashed is destructive. playing 4 games but winning 1 or two gives players hope that if they try that little harder they can do better. but getting thrashed every game kills all hope.

  • Comment 29, posted at 14.05.10 08:38:40 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 28) : Well obviously it’s happening, money talked and the puppets jumped.

    Thus money COMPLETELY killing the CC. They should in all honesty change it to a CC frist division comp and relegate the others to a CC second division.

  • Comment 30, posted at 14.05.10 08:42:35 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • who has backed the lions against the cheetahs this weekend? no-one would because we all know the lions are a broken team. the lions used the last of their focus during the sharks game. when the sharks beat them, they were finished. no matter what was said or done by the coach the players could never get out of the pit they were in. had they beaten the sharks, the lions would have come out swinging for the last few games. this is what losing does to players and a team.

  • Comment 31, posted at 14.05.10 08:46:47 by try time Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 30) : i agree. as i said above. you can try blame anything you want for the death of currie cup. but the cancer crept in when rugby became professional. it has been on a downward spiral ever since. it is time to turn the cc into a positive and what better than using it as a tough competition to develop our future stars. cc gets airtime and interest because it isn’t under the shadow of the s14. so if used properly it will never be another vodacom cup.

  • Comment 32, posted at 14.05.10 08:50:20 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 29) : So playing 4 games will have your rugby skills developed as much as someone playing 10 games?

    So everyone has been wrong all along, it’s not game time that develops skills and gets a rugby player match fit, it’s winning 2 from 4 games. 🙄

  • Comment 33, posted at 14.05.10 08:53:18 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 33) : i never said that. but you are sure as hell going to learn more if you have tasted success than if you go in feeling ag who cares the sharks are going to thrash us anyway. winning stimulates development and improvement. i won’t waste my time and effort so i can lose. so if i am winning i will want to be better so i can win again.

  • Comment 34, posted at 14.05.10 08:57:45 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 34) : ruan is a typical example of what confidence and self belief can do to a player.

  • Comment 35, posted at 14.05.10 08:59:25 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 13) : still the boks playing in currie cup are drawing more crowds than any team without them.

    You must wonder also what quality will smaller unions present – because I tend to agree with FTLooser( :mrgreen: ) that the big unions will draw more and more from smaller and the latter will have to dig deeper and deeper to be competitive. I mean look at Griquas in this year Vodacom Cup – all theirs stars are with Cheetahs now.

  • Comment 36, posted at 14.05.10 09:13:02 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 36) : besides it is not so much extension of 3N to 4N that will impact CC but more the shifting of the competition to September -October.

  • Comment 37, posted at 14.05.10 09:15:30 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 36) : what were the attendance figures at the grounds when the boks were playing compared to when they weren’t in last years cc? i doubt there was any difference. boks playing had little to do with the crowd. maybe the attendence figures were good because the team was winning. why are the attendence figures higher when the sharks play a top 4 team than when they play boland, border etc. it isn’t because of boks. it is because the games are dull. no-one used to care about going to a griquas game before they started beating the sharks. so it is the thrill value the opposition add that brings crowds. adding boks actually can have a negative effect as the opposition gets klapped and the game is a bore.
    so now make the smaller unions competitive and you will bring in crowds.

  • Comment 38, posted at 14.05.10 09:23:47 by try time Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 37) : so it is fair for the “b” team to do all the hard work to get the team to the playoffs then get dropped because the boks are back. we all saw the pictures of the 2008 cc when the sharks won. all the boks parading around taking the accolades. but it was the “b” team that actually got them there and they are forgotten. i think the move in date is fair and just.

  • Comment 39, posted at 14.05.10 09:28:43 by try time Reply

  • players like monty dumond that people feel sorry for, but are happy gets dropped to make place for ruan. he is one of many that don’t get the recognition they deserve because the boks take the limelight.

  • Comment 40, posted at 14.05.10 09:33:37 by try time Reply

  • also a union with more money will buy players from the smaller unions. but there is a breakeven point. these clubs will start struggling when they have to pay their bok stars and when the players they have poached from other unions start getting good and want more money, the big union could put itself in financial difficulty. also the smaller union will replace the lost player with someone else, offering another player the opportunity to play first class rugby. thus improving the quality of players in sa rugby’s player pool. youngsters that make the bok jwc team will also get more chances to play, instead of getting lost in the systems of the bigger unions. if worked properly this is a win win for rugby.

  • Comment 41, posted at 14.05.10 09:52:02 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 38) : so it will still be the same non-attendance or non-watching of games on tele (the latter also quite important, ads and all that jazz) when one of the big unions play boland because boland’s talent will be drained like is always the case for smaller union. as said earlier – I do not see this pattern changing unless there is some subsidies or the like instrument introduced.

    And then when big unions play big unions without the boks I really believe that attendance is gonna be lower. I mean, do you really thing that all these kids standing and waiting for autographs at the end of the game will be equally excited at having something signed by burden instead of smith or monty instead of ruan.

    The other thing is how many people are as crazy as us to actually watch so many rugga games per saturday. There will be plenty to just watch one – the 4N one and this is all.

    Regarding the figures – it would be very interesting to check. Though, it may be distorted by the fact that the boks are usually joining in latter parts when it becomes more exciting because of play-offs.

  • Comment 42, posted at 14.05.10 09:53:09 by rekinek Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 40) : you see, monty is good to front a bulls team without boks, but not with them. But this would fit with your theory if there are no boks for all unions.

    and what’s wrong with boks taking all the limelight. they are supposedly the best.

  • Comment 43, posted at 14.05.10 09:56:26 by rekinek Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 41) : you have a good point here but I would think that teh big five will renegotiate with SARU that they take over some of the boks salaries, after all they will be playing more for SARU.

    I am not that familiar with how the players salaries are structured but there is probably some portion dependant on players availability etc.

  • Comment 44, posted at 14.05.10 09:59:36 by rekinek Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 3) : its true what you are saying all the teams well some do good in the CC and then the BOKS turn it all around by coming back into the CC, but this RBA change mustn’t kill the CC its the only game that has been going on for a very long time since we were all kids 🙂

  • Comment 45, posted at 14.05.10 15:27:46 by Chaz Reply


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