New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has accused the Six Nations teams of acting selfishly in their refusal to back the Nations Championship.
Attempts to establish an annual global competition culminating in an end-of-year final hit the buffers in June due to a lack of support from Europe’s elite, frustrating the cash-strapped southern hemisphere unions.
“South Africa are always going to be our biggest rival because of all the history that comes with it and because we play each other so regularly,” Hansen said.
“We’ve played England once in the last five years and so it’s hard to build a rivalry when you don’t play each other.
(Continue reading below…)
“If we could get the Six Nations to come on board for a global season, we’d be able to do that. Once they do that, then they’re starting to think about the game rather than themselves. There’s a headline for you…”
With host Japan having shrugged off their tier two status to reach a first quarter-final at this World Cup, Hanszen added: “Japan have been outstanding. After the game (against South Africa), you could see visibly how much it meant to them.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 22, 2019
“Emotionally, they were spent and that’s a great sign for rugby in Japan. People in Japan respect that they gave everything they had. South Africa on the night were a little better but I don’t think the scoreline was a true reflection.
“For me, success is not always about winning. Success is about giving your best and they gave their best. What more could you ask from them? They’ve given everything they could and they’re a huge success story of the tournament.”
WATCH: Sunwolves set for Super Rugby return, Japan primed for Rugby Championship inclusion
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.