Eben Etzebeth is open to the idea of South Africa playing in the Six Nations in future, saying he would “love” to participate in the competition.
The Springboks are committed to playing in The Rugby Championship with Argentina, Australia and New Zealand until 2025, but it has been rumoured that the organisers of the Six Nations are considering inviting them to join beyond that.
South African club sides now take part in the United Rugby Championship, also involving teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
While Etzebeth plays for Toulon in France, he has signed on to play for the Cell C Sharks from the 2022-23 season.
Speaking to the Rugby Roots programme, the lock said: “I think the Six Nations would be good for us.
67% – In the Six Nations era (since 2000), South Africa have played 96 matches against England/France/Ireland/Scotland/Wales, winning exactly two thirds of those fixtures (W64, D2, L30). Contenders. pic.twitter.com/sYLltGG6Qc
— OptaJonny (@OptaJonny) February 17, 2022
“Obviously, it just makes sense with us playing in the URC at the moment against the same competition.”
The 30-year-old – who has 97 caps for South Africa – would still like to be able to play against the other Southern Hemisphere sides, and hopes a balance can be found.
“Maybe we could have a full June series against New Zealand, play in the Six Nations and then have an end-of-year tour in Australia or Argentina,” he added.
“I would love to join the Six Nations, but I would also love to still play those other teams as well. Maybe they (World Rugby) can get a good balance.
“At the end of the day, for me, it’s just about playing for South Africa.”
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