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'It's a no from me' - Online backlash escalates over Boks joining Six Nations

By Kim Ekin
PA

Trending on RugbyPass

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News that the Springboks are potentially on the brink of joining the Six Nations has been met by widespread dismay and anger in the northern hemisphere.

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While South African fans appear very much open to the prospect, many existing Six Nations fans see it as a betrayal of the values and traditions of the tournament. While no one doubt’s the obvious calibre of the Boks, many fear that their entry will come at the cost of Italy, who have struggled to make an impact in the annual tournament in recent years.

Should the South Africans join in 2025 – or earlier as is being reported – the limited space in the calendar heavily implies that they would take the place of the Azzuri, who despite recent improvements, haven’t won a game since 2015.

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BBC’s Sonja McLaughlan Tweeted: “South Africa in the Six Nations. It’s a no from me. It’s too special to tinker with. The history & rivalry is worth protecting. Relegation play-off would be no bad thing but thought of adding Springboks leaves me cold.”

“No, this is just wrong” wrote chef Michael Roux Jr.

Owain Jones wrote: “Narrative 1: Italy get stuffed again and haven’t won in 6N since 2015

‘Let’s kick the Italians out of the Six Nations, they’re rubbish.’

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Narrative 2: CVC behind Springboks being parachuted into Six Nations, thus ditching the Italians

“Rugby Twitter. ‘How very dare you!'”

Popular Youtuber Squidge Rugby said such a move would ‘kill rugby dead’ in Italy. “This could kill rugby in Italy stone dead. It could severely damage rugby in Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Georgia. It could ruin rugby’s safest bet, the Six Nations. It wouldn’t even really benefit South Africa. But CVC would make money so I guess that’s what truly matters.”

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Rugby journalist Rhys Jones wrote: “Any South African fans/outlets who are angry or confused about the backlash to this, it’s not about a dislike for South Africa joining the comp. It’s about rugby union in Italy being murdered.

England international Rocky Clark wrote: “Ludicrous idea if this does happen, we need to support our rugby nations not disregard them. The Six Nations is paramount to the FIR’s success and development of rugby in Italy.”

Not everyone was on board the no train however. Outspoken South African journalist Mark Keohane says he wanted Italy booted from the competition and the Springboks to step up.

It may be a no from the most fans, but this debate isn’t about to go away.

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