Six Nations chief rules out South Africa inclusion

Date published: October 26 2021 - Planet Rugby

There are no plans to include South Africa in the Six Nations in the near future, according to the Championship’s chief executive Ben Morel.

The enhancement of the July and November windows is seen as a greater priority, with the question posed at Tuesday’s Autumn Nations Series launch.

The world champion Boks have been persistently linked with the tournament despite signing a deal to appear in the Rugby Championship until 2030.

Jurie Roux interested

SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux stated last month that the Springboks would be interested in joining, but Morel has ruled out an invitation for the foreseeable future.

“It’s not currently a question. My understanding is that South Africa are committed to the Rugby Championship and at the same time our focus is on July and November,” Morel said.

“The Six Nations has added to and reduced its number of teams in very few moments during its 140 years, so it’s something that we’d be very cautious of doing.”

The Six Nations organises the autumn campaign – now named the Autumn Nations Series – and is also involved in the new season structure discussions for the international calendar after the 2023 World Cup.

It is hoped that by packaging the summer tours in July and the annual November Tests together, a global competition would be created.

“We’re pretty happy with what we have, but we’re sure it could be improved. If that leads to a final or some sort of ranking, that would be a positive,” Morel said.

“It’s complex but the Six Nations are playing a leading role in what the solution could be. Some sort of final is exciting and that’s what the fans want to see.”

Owen Farrell happy to help rising star Marcus Smith

England captain Owen Farrell has said he will help fly-half Marcus Smith develop into a primary playmaker during the upcoming Autumn Nations Series.

The Harlequins star is set to retain the 10 shirt he donned for two Tests in July when Tonga, Australia and South Africa visit Twickenham next month.

That would see Farrell possibly play at inside centre, with George Ford no longer alongside him, as Eddie Jones looks to freshen up ahead of the World Cup.