Ben Morel, the chief executive of the Six Nations, has categorically ruled out any prospect of the Springboks joining the championship despite interest from the South Africa Rugby Union.
With the South African club franchises now playing in Europe, speculation has persisted that the national side is also keen to join the Six Nations to bolster the share of broadcasting revenue and amid concerns about Italy’s competitiveness.
However, Morel insisted that there had been no discussions about any changes to the format of the championship, also ruling out any moves to consider the introduction of promotion and relegation.
“There is no conversation about expanding the Six Nations right now, the entire focus is on finding the right solution and improvements to the July and November windows and finding a more competitive narrative for those fixtures,” Morel told Telegraph Sport.
“Our whole energy of the Six Nations is focused on that. So there's no conversation regarding anything else. There never has been. There has obviously been some interest, but we are not engaging in any of those conversations.”
When does the Six Nations 2023 start?
The Six Nations 2023 kicks off on Saturday February 4, when Wales face Ireland in Cardiff, and England play Scotland at Twickenham. The tournament reaches its conclusion on 'Super Saturday', March 18, when all three fixtures kick-off on the same day, one after another.
Six Nations 2023 fixtures and TV schedule
Saturday February 4
Wales vs Ireland, 2.15pm, at Principality Stadium (Cardiff), BBC
England vs Scotland, 4.45pm, at Twickenham (London), ITV
Sunday February 5
Italy vs France, 3pm, Stadio Olimpico (Rome), ITV
Saturday February 11
Ireland vs France, 2.15pm, at Aviva Stadium (Dublin), ITV
Scotland vs Wales, 4.45pm, at BT Murrayfield (Edinburgh), BBC
Sunday February 12
England vs Italy, 3pm, at Twickenham (London), ITV
Saturday February 25
Italy vs Ireland, 2.15pm, at Stadio Olimpico (Rome), ITV
Wales vs England, 4.45pm, at Principality Stadium (Cardiff), BBC
Sunday February 26
France vs Scotland, 3pm, at Stade de France (Paris), ITV
Saturday March 11
Italy vs Wales, 2.15pm, at Stadio Olimpico (Rome), ITV
England vs France, 4.45pm, at Twickenham (London), ITV and BBC
Sunday March 12
Scotland vs Ireland, 3pm, at BT Murrayfield (Edinburgh), BBC
Saturday March 18
Scotland vs Italy, 12.30pm, at BT Murrayfield (Edinburgh), BBC
France vs Wales, 2.45pm, at Stade de France (Paris), ITV
Ireland vs England, 5pm, at Aviva Stadium (Dublin), ITV
How to watch the Six Nations live
Every game in the championship will be aired live on either BBC or ITV.
BBC lost the rights to broadcast France's home matches in the men's Six Nations in 2022, which means that all matches in Paris will be shown on ITV. England matches are shared between the broadcasters, who began sharing rights across the competition in 2016.
S4C will be showing all Wales matches live, and RTE will have live coverage of seven of the 15 matches, including all Irish fixtures.
Latest odds to win
Odds correct as of January 30