Les Springboks dans le Six Nations ? C’est non

Par RugbyPass
Les Springboks ont montré le trophée Webb Ellis aux foules dans toute l'Afrique du Sud (Photo by Marco Longari /Getty Images)

Selon plusieurs médias sud-africains, les Springboks ne participeront pas au Tournoi des Six Nations de sitôt. En 2022, des discussions avaient évoqué la possibilité d’intégrer l’équipe sud-africaine à cette compétition annuelle de l’hémisphère nord à partir de 2025.

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Bien que cette information ait été initialement démentie par les organisateurs du Tournoi des Six Nations, les spéculations persistaient quant à un éventuel changement pour les Boks.

Les négociations dans l’impasse

Cependant, le journal afrikaner Rapport, qui sort généralement le dimanche, a indiqué que le départ des Springboks du Rugby Championship n’est plus envisagé en raison de l’impasse dans les négociations entre CVC Capital Partners et SA Rugby.

CVC a investi massivement dans le rugby ces dernières années, concluant des accords significatifs avec le Tournoi des Six Nations, le Premiership Rugby et le United Rugby Championship. Malgré leurs tentatives de collaboration avec la fédération sud-africaine de rugby, les négociations sont au point mort.

Une autre piste ?

Selon une source citée par Rapport, la participation des Springboks au Tournoi des Six Nations n’est plus d’actualité, du moins pas avant 2030, voire après. SA Rugby explore actuellement des possibilités avec Ackerley Partners, une société américaine, bien que rien ne soit encore finalisé.

L’idée de voir les Springboks rejoindre le Tournoi des Six Nations avait suscité des opinions divergentes. Certains joueurs, dont le double champion du monde de rugby Eben Etzebeth ainsi que le sélectionneur Rassie Erasmus, soutenaient l’idée en soulignant les avantages potentiels d’aligner les calendriers entre l’hémisphère nord et sud.

Cependant, l’incertitude persiste quant à l’avenir immédiat des Springboks, qui semblent rester engagés dans le Rugby Championship sur le plan international.

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Poorfour 5 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

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