If reports are to be believed, the Six Nations may never be the same again.
FOr a start, it wouldn’t be ‘six’ nations as South Africa and Japan are both deep in talks with the tournaments governing body about joining the Championship in the coming years.
Japan reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup on home soil but did not play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, returning to action after 18 months against the British & Irish Lions in June 2021.
“For our national teams to have not played for the best part of two years has had a huge impact,” former Japan international and current CEO Kensuke Iwabuchi told the JRFU website.
“We definitely need to be involved in regular international competition, otherwise we cannot expect to maintain consistently strong sides.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/15677007/south-africa-six-nations-england-wales-rugby/Meanwhile, the Sun have reported that the Springboks are “definitely” going to join the Six Nations as they look to split from the doomed Rugby Championship.
They moved a step closer to quitting their Southern Hemisphere rivals New Zealand and Australia by agreeing for their provincial clubs to enter Europe’s Challenge Cup from December.
Top South African administrator Ed Coetzee said: “I think it will definitely happen. If we asked them now, they would say never
“But if we also asked them if we would play in Europe, they would have said never.
“So it is a natural progression — it’s bound to happen. There might be a promotion and relegation.”
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Gallery: World’s highest-paid rugby players in 2022
#9=. Owen Farrell (Saracens) – £750k
The England skipper is heading into the final year of his contract at Saracens and is reported to be earning a substantial amount of money on his current deal with a number of unknown bonuses thought to be included.
#9=. Michael Hooper (Toyota Verblitz) – £750k
Last season he took a sabbatical in Japan and is reported to have been earning £750,000 with Toyota Verblitz.
#8. Beauden Barrett (Suntory Sungoliath) – £780k
On his year out in Japan with Suntory Sungoliath last year, the Daily Mail reports Barrett earned £780,000.
#7. Virimi Vakatawa (Gloucester) – £780k
Last year, Les Bleus’ centre signed a huge contract with Racing 92, according to reports in France.