Former Springboks skipper Jean de Villiers has reopened the debate about the Springboks heading to the northern hemisphere…do you agree?
109-times capped South African skipper de Villiers believes the Springboks could play in a newly-expanded ‘Seven Nations’ while honouring their Rugby Championship commitments with Argentina, the All Blacks and Australia later on in the year.
Writing in the SA Rugby magazine de Villiers, one of his country’s best players, said: “There’s been a lot of debate around the possibility of the Springboks joining a ‘Seven Nations’ tournament. The idea has been shot down by a lot of officials and critics in both hemispheres. Why shouldn’t we consider creative ideas that have the potential to boost and improve the global product? From a South African point of view, I would like to see SA Rugby putting South Africa’s interests first. Whether they decide to move north or remain committed to Sanzaar, they must consider what is best for South African rugby in the long run.”
“If the Boks can add value to an expanded tournament, why shouldn’t they join the party? If the move will benefit SA Rugby and the players from a financial point of view, and if there is a healthy South African support base in the UK and Europe, why shouldn’t SA Rugby give the move serious consideration?
“A lot of people have suggested South Africa would have to cut ties with Sanzaar to join a ‘Seven Nations’ tournament.
“The Boks could compete in a Seven Nations during the months of February and March, and then feature in the Rugby Championship later in the year.”
What do you think?
– Could South Africa players handle the schedule?
– Would the 6 Nations accept the expansion to 7 teams?
– Could Italy drop out, with South Africa replacing the under performing Azzurri?