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Six Nations leaders insist that Italy is not going anywhere; Boxing in the cold?

Six Nations organizers have dismissed persistent speculation about South Africa’s entry into the Championship, ruling out any changes to the line-up.

Earlier this week, the Springboks promised to stay in the Rugby Championship until at least 2025, but it was suggested they would join the Northern Hemisphere after that.

However, Six Nations leaders denied on Friday that there is any prospect of South Africa being added or Italy – which has lost 34 consecutive matches in the competition – being removed.

The other teams involved are England, France, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

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“Six Nations Rugby, comprising the six unions and federations and (stock firm) CVC, would like to confirm that they are not entering into discussions or developing plans to add or replace a participating union,” a statement said.

“All his energy is focused on the current strategic discussions regarding the July and November international windows and the structure of the global season, and to ensure a positive outcome for the development of the game.”

South Africa, which participates in the annual Rugby Championship along with Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, has long been associated with a move to the Six Nations.

It was suggested that the participation of South African provincial teams in the European competition would act as a catalyst.

Japan have also been mooted as a possible future addition.

But the Six Nations is determined to maintain the status quo, ruling out promotion and relegation as a viable option in the hopes that Italy will improve.

France leads the 2022 Six Nations after kicking off with wins against Italy and Ireland.

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