Argentina at least in its current form definitely has the skill to contest on a higher stage. I dunno about their depth long term but maybe. But realistically I would not expect them to be much more successful against the Tri-Nations sides than Italy is against the old Five Nations.
But there is a real risk that failure to perform against the stronger sides will harm the game rather than build it. And as Italy shows, simply playing at a higher level internationally does not automatically lead better performances. I'm not familiar with Italy's domestic game, but intuitively I doubt it's very well developed.
There is some suggestion about including Argentina in the Tri-Nations and Super Rugby competions but it's unlikely to happen until after the UAR institutes professionalism, which they don't seemed inclined to do at the moment.
Anyway, the point of all this is to say that we should be wary of expanding high level international competitions just for the sake of growing the game if there is reason to doubt the newbies can match the quality of the competition.
Also, good on England for playing like they did. That Celtic crowing was getting annoying. Also, curse of the Grand Slam strikes Wales again. Har.
Last edited by Smokey D; 03-16-2009 at 06:12 AM.