Andy Farrell thinks Italy need more time in Six Nations and unsure of South Africa
THIS WEEK, widespread rumors started to surface that South Africa were set to replace Italy in the Six Nations in 2025 in one of the biggest format shake-ups rugby has ever seen.
Those rumors were quickly quashed by Six Nations organizers on Friday and current Ireland manager Andy Farrell has given his thoughts on the boks entering the competition.
South Africa will not join the Six Nations following speculation yesterday. Six Nations Chiefs Shut Down Rumors https://t.co/Bxeyvysw5b
– The Irish Post (@theirishpost) February 18, 2022
But Farrell believes adding the World Cup winners might not bring the same benefit that some people want.
Asked about his perspective on the situation, Farrell said:
“I don’t know how it would work,” Farrell said. “Eight weeks in a competition is quite a long time and the reason why it is eight weeks with the following weeks is because of the intensity of these matches.
“If you bring in someone like South Africa, I don’t really see the intensity changing, do you?
“So I don’t know about that, but either way we’ll leave it to the powers that be to iron it all out.”
The 46-year-old also believes Italy need more time. The Azzurri have lost their last 34 games in the Six Nations and are considered an easy win for all other teams despite the pundits being kind from time to time.
“If you look at the other Six Nations countries and their history, they’ve been there for a long time and they’ve raised their standards over the years,” he said.
“If you look at the French Under-20s who have done very well in recent years and the benefits they have gained from that, then I think back to the Italian Under-20s last year and this year, and what they are doing, they’re obviously growing something there too.”
Ireland face Italy on February 26 next week when the Six Nations return from their break.