South African sides could be playing in the Champions Cup as soon as 2022, according to The Telegraph.
SA Rugby are now having to explore a variety of options after New Zealand Rugby announced their intentions to leave the Super Rugby model in the near future.
South African sides could join Champions Cup by 2022 as Super Rugby comes to an end https://t.co/7IfOTlsw6O
— #rugbyscotland (@RugbySco) July 18, 2020
Their new competition proposed by NZR would be based in Australasia and feature significant Pacific Island representation.
They have long considered the benefits of a move to play in Europe, including a more favourable time difference with a source revealing: “All bets are off now. We are examining all options.”
Two South African franchises, the Kings and Cheetahs, are already part of the Guinness Pro14, which could now be expanded to become the Pro18.
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Neither the Kings or Cheetahs are currently eligible for the Champions Cup but that would be set to change if all of South Africa’s professional sides were involved, with the South African sides needing to play in the 2021-22 Pro18 season in order to qualify for the 2022-23 Champions Cup
It’s also been suggested that their are also active talks with the heads of the Japanese Top League and Major League Rugby about expanding the tournament further in the future.
Both leagues are keen to get more exposure in Europe, and see the Champions Cup as an ideal opportunity to get their top clubs in front of that audience.
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11 weird, wonderful and wretched England one-cap wonders
Does England waste talent? It’s something fans of the Red Rose have been asking themselves for decades and it’s something a number of high-profile names in the game have accused the country of doing.
The Newcastle and Saracens legend, who made 245 Premiership appearances, won a deserved first England cap against Canada in the Investec Challenge match in 2004 and scored a try.
After an injury to Alex Goode he was called up to the England squad in May 2013. He made his début as a substitute for Freddie Burns in England’s victory over Argentina, scoring a conversion.
He made his full test debut against Argentina on 8 June on the right wing playing the whole 80 minutes. Wade was selected for the second game against Argentina the following week but withdrew from the team when he was called up to join the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia. He, to date, never won another cap.
Hanley was one of two Sale players to make their international debut in England’s final match of their 1999 Five Nations campaign along with Barrie-Jon Mather.Although Hanley scored a try, he also was handed-off by Craig Quinnell and suffered a broken arm as Wales won 32–31.