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South Africa

South Africa to join Europe?

16th May 2014 10:14


Saracens chairman Nigel Wray

Saracens chief: Nigel Wray

Saracens owner Nigel Wray argues television demands coupled with time differences mean South Africa will join European rugby rather than continue in the Rugby Championship.

"Clearly, sooner or later, South Africa will play with France, England, Ireland etc. because we are in the same time zone," Wray told the Telegraph.

"At the moment, South Africa have to tramp over to a completely different time zone, which takes a long time to get accustomed to.

"They play their games at the wrong time of day, at breakfast time, which is the worst TV time.

"I don't know when, but it is inevitable the game will go like that. It's just so logical.

"If you play in Argentina (in the evening), I think English or South African time, you probably kick off about 11:00pm (2200GMT) or something like that.

"If I tell anybody we are going to open a shop in (London's) Marylebone High Street and are going to open from 11 at night until four in the morning, they'd think we were completely stark, staring bonkers.

"It's a problem for rugby, because that implies New Zealand and Australia will have to move towards Japan and Hong Kong to play in the same time zone, at the optimum television time.

"Whether you like it or not, TV is the master."

  • South Africa Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 8
Ireland vs South Africa17:30
Saturday , November 15
England vs South Africa14:30
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South Africa14:00
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
More International Match fixtures
  • South Africa Results
Recent Results
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa 27 - 25 New Zealand
Saturday , September 27
South Africa 28 - 10 Australia
Saturday , September 13
New Zealand 14 - 10 South Africa
Saturday , September 6
Australia 24 - 23 South Africa
More Rugby Championship results
  • Table
Rugby Championship Table
1New Zealand622
2South Africa619