Six Nations: South Africa set to replace Italy in 2025

Rugby world champions South Africa are set to replace Italy in the Six Nations, according to a new report form the Daily Mail, in what will be a huge move for the sport’s global structure.

It was announced on Wednesday that the Springboks, along with New Zealand, Australia and Argentina, have all committed to the Southern Hemisphere’s annual rugby championship for another three years.

This means that in 2025, South Africa will be free to join the Six Nations.

The move was originally due to take place in 2024 after the next World Cup, but it has been reported that the move will take a further 12 months to come to fruition.

The proposed move may result in one current competing nation to be removed from the Six Nations. This country is likely to be often strugglers Italy.

Since they joined the tournament in 2000, the Italians have finished in sixth place 16 times out of 21. Not only that, however, they have won just 12 games… losing 97.

It truly does make for grim reading, and it should come as no surprise that they are being replaced, should it eventually happen.

ROME, ITALY – FEBRUARY 13: Maro Itoje of England dives over for a try which is later ruled out by TM during the Guinness Six Nations match between Italy and England at Stadio Olimpico on February 13, 2022 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

CVC purchased a one-seventh stake in the Six Nations in 2021 for an investment of ‘up to £365 million’. It is understood that they are extremely keen on the world champions joining the annual competition.

The private equity firm believe that there will be significant commercial gains by South Africa being included in the tournament.

When the investment was announced in March of last year, the CVC announced that steps will be taken to ‘ensure continued development for the benefit of fans, and to attract a new more diverse and global fan base.’

CARDIFF, WALES – NOVEMBER 06: Lukhanyo Am of South Africa breaks with the ball during the Autumn Nations Series match between Wales and South Africa at the Principality Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

There are many figures involved in the European rugby game that view South Africa joining the Six Nations negatively, but it would make sense for commercial gains to be prioritised after the financial state of the game following the financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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