Eddie O’Sullivan  believes that South Africa entering the Six Nations will happen eventually

Eddie O’Sullivan believes that South Africa entering the Six Nations will happen eventually

EDDIE O' SULLIVAN reckons that South Africa entering the Six Nations is a matter of when, not if.

Last week speculation leaked out in the media that the World Cup winners were set to replace Italy in the Six Nations from 2025.

Those rumours were shot down by Six Nation orginisers the following day.

GQEBERHA, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 21: Makazole Mapimpi of South Africa (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

But O' Sullivan reckons that the Boks will eventually end up in the northern hemisphere format.

Speaking to RTE’s Against The Head, the former Ireland coach said

“I think it’s inevitable that it’s going to happen," said O’Sullivan.

“I’ve been saying this for 10 years. It’s much easier for South Africa to play in Europe. It’s going to change the tournament. It’ll be worth a lot more money. There will be a political realignment of rugby in the world.

He also brung up Italy and refuted the claim that Italy needed more time as they have had 22 years to get it right.

“Let’s talk about Italy: The Italian experiment is over for a long time. There was a lot of talking during the week, ‘What about Italy? What about Italy?’, he claimed

“Italy are in the tournament 22 years. They’ve had plenty of time to make a stamp on it, and they haven’t been able to.

“They have a 12 per cent win ratio (in the Six Nations), which means they are the whipping boy of the tournament. Ireland go in next week knowing it’s not enough to beat Italy; we’ve got to score a bonus point and rack up 30 or 40 points or we’ll pay a price at the end of the tournament. It skews the tournament.

“You can be romantic about it, ‘weekends in Rome, and keep the Italians involved’ but the truth of the matter is it’s a business venture. It’s fuelling the running of the game on the ground here. If South Africa jumped it up another level, it’s going to happen.”

South Africa currently play in the Rugby Championship with the likes of Australia and New Zealand and their departure from the southern hemisphere could be fatal for the tournament.

Bernad Jackman, another former Irish international felt that the move would not be a good move for rugby in that part of the world

“What happens to the southern hemisphere without South Africa?” Jackman added.

“That Rugby Championship is a dead duck. Australia are on the way down.

“For South Africa, it being in the news last week strengthens their hand if they are going to renegotiate and stay in the Rugby Championship. New Zealand would be tearing their hair out because a championship with Japan, Argentina, and Australia isn’t really a championship.”

If South Africa did join the Six Nations as part of a seven nations format or six version, it would bring more eyes on the events, but the amount of travel could also be a hindrance.

It remains to be seen if the Six Nations stance of not having South Africa in the Six Nations will stand or will money talk at the end of the day.