South Africa: Six Nations boss dismisses Springboks’ inclusion rumours

David Skippers
Springboks singing anthem v Ireland ANS 2022 - PA.jpg

Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel is adamant that his organisation have no plans to expand the championship or change its participants by including South Africa in it.

The four South African franchises – the Stormers, Sharks, Bulls and Lions – have made a successful switch to club competitions in the northern hemisphere.

The Stormers were crowned champions of the inaugural United Rugby Championship (URC) last season and they, along with the Sharks and Bulls have qualified for the last 16 round of the Champions Cup, while the Lions have also achieved the same feat in the Challenge Cup.

Due to the successful transition into the URC and the European cup competitions, there has been plenty of speculation that the Springboks will eventually follow a similar route into the Six Nations.

But Morel insisted that those rumours are inaccurate and revealed that the Boks’ Six Nations participation has not been discussed.

Six Nations expansion ruled out

“There is no conversation about expanding the Six Nations right now, the entire focus is on finding the right solution and improvements to the July and November windows and finding a more competitive narrative for those fixtures,” Morel told the Telegraph.

“Our whole energy of the Six Nations is focused on that. So there’s no conversation regarding anything else. There never has been.

“I can understand that dynamic, but the players in the club game in South Africa needed a competition to play in, which has been an issue on their side. There has obviously been some interest, but we are not engaging in any of those conversations.”

The Springboks are set to continue playing in the southern hemisphere-based Rugby Championship against All Blacks, Wallabies and Pumas until at least 2025, organisers SANZAAR confirmed in 2022.

South Africa finished in second position behind New Zealand in last year’s Rugby Championship, after winning four out of six matches.

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