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Emphatic Six Nations statement ends Springboks entry speculation

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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The Six Nations have issued a statement confirming that they have no intention of adding or replacing any team in the competition.

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Speculation has mounted this week after reports in the UK and SA suggested that SA Rugby are set to strike a deal to join the competition in 2025.

However, this morning’s statement has strongly denied the claims.

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“Six Nations Rugby, comprising the six Unions and Federations and CVC, wish to confirm that they are not entertaining any discussion nor developing any plans to add or replace any participating Union.

“All its energy is focused on the current strategic discussions regarding the July and November international windows and structure of the global season, and to ensure a positive outcome for the development of the game.”

On Wednesday South Africa and their fellow participants have committed to playing in the Rugby Championship until at least 2025.

The announcement, made by tournament organisers SANZAAR, effectively ends any immediate prospect of South Africa joining the Six Nations.

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The world champion Springboks have been consistently linked with becoming a part of European rugby’s blue riband competition.

That speculation will inevitably remain, but the Rugby Championship is set to continue in its current form, being contested by South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina.

“They (South Africa) did put us on notice they were exploring their options. That was well before Christmas,” SANZAAR chief executive Brendan Morris told www.stuff.co.nz.

“We’ve got a number of international and local broadcast deals that are extended to 2025. There was never any cause for alarm that we were never going to meet those obligations.

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“We are coming out of the worst three years in living memory of financial impact.

“Everybody has to do their due diligence in exploring what competitions to be involved in and what provides the best opportunity for the best commercial outcome.

“The Six Nations, World Rugby, in all walks of life people are exploring their business models at the moment.”

– additional reporting PA

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