The Springboks could join an expanded Six Nations tournament in 2024.
According to the Daily Mail, negotiations have been going on behind the scenes for some time and “things are falling nicely into place” for the Boks to join the Northern Hemisphere’s premier tournament after the next World Cup.
It is believed the tournament will be expanded to seven teams, which means struggling Italy will keep their place in the tournament.
One of the main reasons why South Africa is reportedly heading north is that that they will only be working with a two-hour time difference rather than travelling to Australasia.
It will provide more attractive kick-off times for the South African audience and it would also increase the value of the Six Nations’ television rights, which would be beneficial to all countries involved.
Another factor is the large number of South African players currently based at European clubs. South Africa already has two provincial teams in the form of the Cheetahs and Southern Kings playing in the Pro14
If South Africa leaves the Rugby Championship would be a big blow to Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. Interest in the tournament has already dwindled over the last few years.
The hole that the Springboks will leave could be filled by Japan who are looking to be part of a major international competition.