A report that the Six Nations was considering significant changes is wrong. Assuming you believe the Six Nations.
After a Thursday report that the Six Nations is exploring the possibility of dropping Italy in favor of South Africa, the Championship released a statement distancing themselves from the report.
Italy fans shouldn’t feel too relieved.
Of course the competition wouldn’t openly admit to any potential discussions about the competition at this point. South Africa is bound to the Rugby Championship through the 2024 competition. There’s little advantage in fueling speculation about poaching the reigning World Cup champions with so much runway.
The Six Nations is probably honest about focusing on changes to the
established rugby nations global calendar. That focus is largely on the creation of a biennial global competition. That doesn’t mean there aren’t informal conversations.
Its also fair to wonder why the Daily Mail, which is well connected in the European game, would report the news if it were completely wrong. It wouldn’t be too crazy to think the story was leaked anonymously to Chris Foy as a way to dip a toe in the pool instead of finding that the water is boiling once you’re waist deep.
None of this means that South Africa joining the Six Nations is imminent. That also doesn’t mean its off the table.