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'Brainless... It's hard to think of a more ill-conceived muddle-headed idea'

By Rugby365
Press Association

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Speculation around South Africa potentially joining the Six Nations has been met with widespread anger in the Northern Hemisphere.

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This morning the Six Nations officially threw cold water on the idea, clarifying that it had no plan to add or replace any team within the competition.

Prior to their statement, former England coach Sir Clive Woodward issues a scathing rebuke on the idea to parachute South Africa into the Six Nations.

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Earlier this week South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina all committed to playing in the Rugby Championship until 2025.

However, various reports suggest that SA Rugby is “close to finalising” a deal that will see the Springboks playing in the Six Nations from 2025 (and possibly as early as 2024).”

SANZAAR Chief Executive Brendan Morris has confirmed that South Africa are actively exploring their options.

The 2003 World Cup-winning coach take to his Daily Mail column to blast the ‘random’ idea.

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Woodward wrote: “It would be hard to think of a more ill-conceived muddle-headed idea than South Africa being randomly parachuted into the Six Nations.

“It would leave Italy — and other aspiring European nations — banished to the wilderness.”

The England legend posed the question that “who will be benefiting from such a radical change to the Six Nations? Unions or investors; individuals, executives or the grassroots game?”

Woodward acknowledged that the Six Nations tournament need some modifications.

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However the 66-year-old emphasised the decision should be based on developing rugby in Europe, not just about extra revenue.

“I totally accept that the Six Nations could do with some tweaks but there are infinitely better options [than adding the Boks to the tournament].

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“The Six Nations need to open their eyes and not be blindsided by the alleged promises of extra revenue.

“CVC Capital Partners have become involved in the sport for one reason: to make money — for them, not the rugby community.”

Woodward also explained that an annual relegation/promotion play-off fixture should be an option and would give teams like Georgia the chance to test themselves and be allowed to improve.

“In recent years they have disastrously stalled Georgian rugby,” Woodward wrote.

“The Lelos have been left with nowhere to go and no way of bettering themselves.

“They have been in limbo for years when they should be in the fast lane. I can see the Georgians running out of steam unless we give them hope.”

Woodward concluded that “rugby needs to stop prostrating itself in front of the money men and put the game first.”

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