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Six Nations have their say on the 'Springboks joining' speculation

By PA
(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

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Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel insists there are no plans to add the Springboks to the championship with an enhancement of the July and November windows seen as a greater priority. South Africa have been persistently linked with the tournament despite signing a contract to appear in the Rugby Championship until 2030.

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SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux stated last month that his world champion Springboks would be interested in joining the Six Nations, but at Tuesday’s Autumn Nations Series launch Morel ruled out an invitation for the foreseeable future.

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

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Springboks boss Jacques Nienaber pays tribute to Morne Steyn
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Springboks boss Jacques Nienaber pays tribute to Morne Steyn

“The Six Nations has added to and reduced its number of teams in very few moments during its 140 years, so it is something that we would be very cautious of doing.”

The Six Nations organises the autumn campaign – now named the Autumn Nations Series – and is also involved in the new season structure discussions for the international calendar after the 2023 World Cup.

It is hoped that by packaging the summer tours in July and the annual November Tests together, a global competition would be created. “We’re pretty happy with what we have, but we’re sure it could be improved. If that leads to a final or some sort of ranking, that would be a positive,” Morel said.

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“It is complex but the Six Nations are playing a leading role in what the solution could be. Some sort of final is exciting and that is what the fans want to see.”

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