The Six Nations could become the Seven Nations after the next Rugby World Cup, which takes place in 2023, according to reports.
According to the report, negotiations have been going on behind the scenes for quite some time and they have reached the stage where there is now a “sense of inevitably” that South Africa will join the competition in 2024.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) February 7, 2020
The Springboks are likely to become the seventh team in the annual tournament, rather than replace Italy, who have struggled to make an impact since taking their place in 2000.
South Africa currently compete in the Rugby Championship alongside Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.
If they were to join the Six Nations, Japan could take their place in the southern hemisphere tournament.
The Mail report that the move is being considered for several reasons.
The Springboks feel that playing in the Six Nations would suit them more, as they would be aligned with countries closer to their time zone.
Kick-off times would also be more attractive for the audience in South Africa.
South African players are also said to be keen on joining an expanded Six Nations.
If the world champions were to join, it would increase the value of the television rights for the tournament.