Six Nations Springboks

The Springboks face Georgia. Image: Christiaan Kotze / AFP

Former Wales star says this side should be in Six Nations ahead of the Springboks

A former Wales captain has come out against the Sprringboks being added to an expanded Six Nations Championship.

Six Nations Springboks

The Springboks face Georgia. Image: Christiaan Kotze / AFP

Former Wales skipper Sam Warburton agrees that the Six Nations needs to be expanded but feels the Springboks are not the side who should get into the championship.

Warburton feels that Georgia can no longer be overlooked by European rugby’s elite.

Former Wales star goes to bat for Georgia

Georgia issued an unofficial challenge to Six Nations wooden spooners Wales and Warburton feels his former side should take up the challenge.

In his column for the Times, Warburton expressed his opinion that Georgia should go into the new Seven Nations.

“Should Wales play Georgia now after the Georgians challenged them to an unofficial relegation play-off from the Six Nations? Absolutely they should,” wrote Warburton.

 “It is time to consider Georgia as a seventh team. South Africa have been mentioned and their club teams are already playing in the United Rugby Championship (URC), as well as the Champions and Challenge Cups.

“But for me the South African teams in the URC don’t work. It’s too random.

“I’m not saying they don’t bring good value — they obviously bring good quality of play — but the competition as a whole doesn’t make sense to me. I really like them being in the Champions and Challenge Cups, however, because I think it is good for Europe’s best to pit themselves against them.

“But South Africa in a Seven Nations is going too far. Before we know it, New Zealand will be in it too. Georgia and Rugby Europe champions it should be. They are a passionate rugby nation and their government invests £10 million a year into their £14 million annual rugby budget. The timing of their would-be admission to a Seven Nations is crucial. Their rugby is no flash in the pan.

“This is a cultural thing that is not going to go away.

“So, I think it is inevitable that at some stage they are going to have to be admitted into a Seven Nations tournament.

“It is a question of when.”

Springboks staying in the Rugby Championship

SA Rugby have distanced themselves from reports suggesting they are out to secure a place in the Six Nations.

The South African powers are content with the position within the Rugby Championship and also consider a future where they might compete against the Six Nations side in a Nations League-style tournament.

The Springboks are committed to the Rugby Championship until at least 2025. World Rugby has plans to reorder the global game from 2026. These changes still need to get through several levels of approval.