England-based writer Paul Grayson says the time has come to bring South Africa on board in the Six Nations at the expense of Italy.
In his column for the Mirror, Grayson writes that England’s recent triumph in the competition and Italy’s continued struggles therein left him with the overriding thought of whether it had become time to bring the Springboks on board.
‘Owen Farrell’s team dismissed Italy despite not having played for eight months and spending half the game trying to shake off the rust. Fair play to them for rebounding from that haunting World Cup final defeat by the Springboks in Japan almost exactly a year ago.
‘But, let’s be honest, Italy for too long has been a fixture in which the only question is by how much the opposition will win. Pondering whether the margin will be 30, 40 or 50 points shouldn’t be a conversation for a competitive tournament.
‘So I thought of the Boks, kicking their heels back home while both the Six Nations and Rugby Championship play on. Imagine South Africa, a southern-hemisphere superpower with a time zone far better suited to the north, taking their place.
‘It would shake the foundations of tradition, but what a tournament the Six Nations would become. If ever was the time for such a radical change to be made it is now. Nothing in this pandemic is as it was. Innovation is called for.’
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