| Could the Springboks replace Japan at ‘Eight Nations’ tournament?

  • The northern hemisphere based Eight Nations tournament is in doubt following Japan’s withdrawal last week.
  • World rugby vice-chairman Bernard Laporte, however, says negotiations are currently underway to have the Springboks replace the Brave Blossoms.
  • Currently, the Springboks are scheduled to play in the Rugby Championship that will take place in New Zealand in November and December.

With contact training set to resume for South African franchises this week, the route that the Springboks will take in their return to international rugby is still very much in the air.

Logically, that return would be at the Rugby Championships set for November and December where they would face New Zealand, Australia and Argentina in New Zealand. 

That, however, doesn’t seem to be set in stone.

With Japan opting out of an Eight Nations tournament also scheduled for the end of the year, it seems the Springboks might be the side to replace them.

World rugby vice-chairman Bernard Laport told La Progress that “advanced discussions” were taking place to have South Africa join the competition – which will feature England, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy and Fiji – as Japan’s replacement.

“The Japanese will not come to Europe,” said Laporte.

“We are looking for a nation to replace them. We are in advanced discussions with South Africa. It would be great to be able to face the Springboks, the world champions, for the title, but it’s not yet done,” he said.

With South Afrian franchise teams closer to moving north to join the PRO14 competition and ditching Super Rugby, could the Springboks too head north permanently in the future?

– Compiled by Sport24 staff

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