New Zealand Rugby boss Mark Robinson says it is highly improbable that the Boks would leave the Rugby Championship to join the Six Nations.
This past weekend, the Daily Mail reported that negotiations have been going on for some time for South Africa to join their northern-hemisphere counterparts after the 2023 World Cup in France.
Meanwhile, speaking to Sunday newspaper Rapport, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander suggested the article was pure speculation, but did admit the reports are also ‘not too far from the truth because there is a lot of disruption in rugby right now’.
It would appear that moving into northern-hemisphere competition is a possibility that may be explored in the long-term future, but it’s not something that’s likely to happen any time soon.
As Robinson highlighted in a radio interview, SA Rugby is said to be tied into a deal with broadcasters to remain involved in Sanzaar competitions through to 2025.
‘I think this is the third team now in the past month that there’s been reports out of the northern hemisphere that are going to join the Six Nations,’ Robinson told Radio Sport on Sunday.
‘By my count, they are up to nine nations at some time in the next few years which we all know is simply not feasible.
‘We’re very comfortable in our relationship and South Africa’s relationship with Sanzaar,’ he added.
‘Like us, they’ve signed agreements with their broadcasters through 2025 to be involved with Sanzaar. And as recently as this week we were on calls talking about the future of our competitions at [Vodacom] Super level and international level.
‘So, Sanzaar and certainly South Africa were very engaged in those conversations. They are people that we trust, they are very honest and they’ve been great partners over the last 25 years.’
A Rugby Australia spokesperson has also said the body was unaware of any plans for South Africa to leave the Rugby Championship.
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