Former Springbok flank Schalk Burger has suggested that the time is right for SA Rugby to leave SANZAAR and join forces with Europe.
In a wide-ranging interview with English publication, The Rugby Paper, Burger said it could be wise for the Springboks to swap the Rugby Championship for the Six Nations.
He also said it would be better if South African Super Rugby franchises enter European competitions.
Burger said the Boks joining the Six Nations would make it the “best competition in the world!”
“International rugby is still a money-spinner, but I think it’s ready for a change-up and if you had South Africa linking up with the northern hemisphere, it would make the Six Nations and other competitions even better. I’m just a rugby player but I’ve been thinking about it a lot and within South Africa a few attitudes have to change,” Burger said.
The Super Rugby competition structure has copped heavy criticism in recent times and reports have indicated that South Africa’s Super Rugby franchises could soon join European competitions.
The Wales Online website earlier this year reported that the Sharks would be the first to join the European PRO14 competition for the 2019/20 season, with the Lions and Stormers potentially following suit the next season.
SANZAAR subsequently rejected the reports but the 35-year-old Burger, who currently plies his trade at Saracens in England, saysthis would be a wise move.
“Something has to change in South Africa. We don’t know how the future of SANZAAR is going to look but it’s got to make more sense for South African teams to play up north. Argentina, USA and Canada should join forces to develop a competition there and then New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the Polynesian Islands can develop a high-class competition of their own,” Burger said.
“I know it’s tricky because South Africa is traditionally linked with SANZAAR, but when I started out Super 12 was the best competition ever – short, intense and with the best players. Now, however, we’ve lost our magic.”
Burger, who played for the Stormers during his Super Rugby playing days, represented his country in 86 Tests between 2003 and 2015.