SAfrica aim to have Pumas in SANZAR - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

SAfrica aim to have Pumas in SANZAR

22/05/2008 06:11:13 AM Comments (0)

Argentina will play South Africa in Johannesburg on August 9 in the first move to include the Pumas in southern hemisphere competition, South Africa Rugby says.

A full-strength Pumas side will travel for the World Cup semi-final rematch against the eventual champions in between the away and home legs of the Springboks' Tri-nations campaign.

"(This) is the first fixture in a commitment by the SANZAR nations to ultimately incorporate the South American country into their competitions," the South Africa Rugby statement read, referring to the body grouping the big three in the southern hemisphere - Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

"Argentina have confirmed that they will have their strongest possible team available for the match as they have secured the release of their top players based in Europe," South Africa Rugby managing director Jonathan Stones added on Wednesday.

"I'm sure they will be going all out to beat South Africa for the first time."

South Africa and Argentina have met 12 times in the last 15 years, with the Pumas yet to register a victory.

There will be added importance to their 13th meeting with seedings for the 2011 Rugby World Cup based on the International Rugby Board's (IRB) rankings, as of December 1, 2008. South Africa are ranked first and Argentina third.

"The new seeding arrangements for the Rugby World Cup mean that every test result this season will be vital and Argentina will be determined to hold on to their top-four ranking," Stones said.

The Ellis Park test will be part of the celebrations for former South African president Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday.

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