Springboks set to stay in Rugby Championship

Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel has insisted there are no plans to add South Africa to the tournament, as the Springboks remain committed to the Rugby Championship.

Towards the end of last year, speculation of South Africa’s possible move to join the Six Nations tournament seemed to end when Sanzaar revealed a 10-year strategic plan and reiterated the four-nation alliance would remain intact until 2030.

That speculation has intensified with four South African teams – the Vodacom Bulls, Sharks, Stormers and Lions – leaving Super Rugby and arriving in the newly formed Vodacom United Rugby Championship, which replaced the former Celtic League.

The potential move to the Six Nations would carry commercial benefits for SA Rugby and benefit the Springboks due to the synchronised time zones between South Africa and Europe.

However, Six Nations boss Morel poured cold water on the rumours as he said on Tuesday there were no plans to bring the Springboks into the tournament and make the team a ‘seventh’ nation.

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

“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.”

Photo: Getty Images

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