Sharks second-row Eben Etzebeth admits “it would be great” for the Springboks to be a part of the Six Nations to align the playing schedule more.

Etzebeth has played a lot of rugby throughout the whole of 2022 and with the Springboks still in the Rugby Championship and their club sides based in European competitions, it means there is very little off time for players.

No off-season

The veteran recalls when the South African sides were in Super Rugby and how that allowed a decent period of downtime for players to recover for the next season.

Etzebeth told The Times earlier this week that a more aligned schedule would make managing players in South Africa easier.

“I’ve never played in Durban when it’s this hot,” Etzebeth told The Times. “When we played in Super Rugby, after the end-of-year tour – except the guys who play in Europe – we’d all come back and be on holiday for about six weeks. It’s something new.

Click Here: sydney roosters jersey

“I would like the whole rugby schedule to be aligned, so we can manage players, play at the same time and rest at the same time. At the moment it’s a bit of a difficult situation to handle. It’s not the softest sport in the world. I think when you get an off week you appreciate it more now.”

The prospect of the Springboks joining the Six Nations surfaced earlier this year, but with nothing concrete being discussed, the move still remains speculative.

Keep southern hemisphere connection

Should the move be made, Etzebeth underlined that it is important that time should be found for the Springboks to face their southern hemisphere rivals.

“I think it would be great being a part of that (the Six Nations),” Etzebeth continued. “It would mean the schedules will be a bit more aligned. I never want to move away from playing the All Blacks, Wallabies and Argentina, so as long as there’s still space to also play those matches.

“So if we can keep those rivalries aligned it would be great for us, for rugby, and it would align the schedule for the best interests of the players. I don’t know where the game will go in the future, or where we will play in the future, but being part of the European schedule and the Champions Cup just makes sense.”

As things stand, South Africa is confirmed to stay in the Rugby Championship until 2025, with their future beyond that still in negotiations.

Mittie B Brack News