South Africa joining the Six Nations still 'likely' with tournament expanded to eight - Ruck

South Africa joining the Six Nations still ‘likely’ with tournament expanded to eight

A radical eight-team Six Nations format has been proposed in response to South Africa’s bid to join Europe’s annual competition.

Instead of playing against every team every year,  they’re exploring using the same weekends with two pools of four. The other team likely to be added would be Georgia or another up and coming European nation.

Reports suggest there would be three group games, two semi-finals and a final with teams rotated over a period of two or three years to ensure everybody plays everybody.

Such changes to the tournament would not come into effect until 2025 at the earliest.

Italy's abysmal record in the competition has been well documented, with 36 defeats on the spin moving some to question whether they deserved a place among the European elite. 

National reports stated that the Springboks were set to be welcomed into the fold possibly at the expense of the Italians, but this was quickly rubbished by Six Nations chiefs.

Erasmus, writing in his Daily Mail column, said he would still love for the Springboks to be involved in the tournament but only if it expanded .

He said: "Italy beating Wales obviously closed a lot of arguments about them being kicked out of the Six Nations. Let's hope they go from strength to strength now, then it's great for rugby.

I would still love to see South Africa in the Six Nations, but I think that would only be a scenario if the competition expanded to seven teams"

EDITORS PICKS:

“Rarely had a bad game” – Nigel Owens selects the FIVE best players he refereed

Popular former referee Nigel Owens, who named his all-time dream team a few years back, selected five players for extra praise.

#5. Sergio Parisse (Italy)

"I’ve been fortunate to have refereed some tremendous No.8s during my career but Sergio is tops. He’s such a talented player and rarely has a bad game."

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