SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux says the recent changes to SA’s domestic programme will not affect its participation in the Rugby Championship.
This comes after southern hemisphere rugby governing body Sanzaar announced on Wednesday that SA Rugby has committed to the Rugby Championship for the next decade.
With SA Rugby having pulled its four franchises from the Super Rugby tournament‚ and withdrawn from the 2020 Rugby Championship‚ there was every indication the Springboks would pull out of the four-team tournament to join the Six Nations.
With this announcement‚ the Springboks will be taking part in a 12-match tournament on a home-and-away basis.
Roux said the rugby alliance with New Zealand‚ Australia and Argentina remains important from a rugby development and winning perspective.
Since 1987‚ only one northern hemisphere team — England (2003) — has won the Rugby World Cup‚ with the editions from 2007 to 2019 changing hands between SA and New Zealand.
Argentina‚ who were added to what used to be the Tri-Nations in 2012 to form the Rugby Championship‚ have remained a competitive outfit.
“Though we had to change our domestic focus‚ we still have a long history with the All Blacks and Wallabies as well as a long-standing friendship with the Pumas‚ and we look forward to more world-class Test rugby‚” Roux said.
“Ever since the Tri-Nations was first contested in 1996‚ and more recently the Rugby Championship from 2012‚ a team from the southern hemisphere has won the Rugby World Cup five out of six times, which is testimony to the high quality of Test rugby played on this side of the equator.”
Sanzaar CEO Andy Marinos said the locking in of the 10-year Rugby Championship deal is important for all the teams involved in the tournament.
“The recommitment by the four unions to the long-term future of the international game is an important start as we embark in a new direction for both the unions and the organisation over the coming years‚” Marinos said.
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