No Springbok on chest at RWC
Moving to the sleeve (File)
Pretoria - The Springbok emblem will not be on the chest of the Springbok jersey at the World Cup in New Zealand next year.
Springbok supporters are in for a shock on Friday when the South African Rugby Union (SARU) introduces a supporters' shirt in anticipation of the World Cup, which will kick off in New Zealand in less than a year.
Government guidelines determine that the official South African sports emblem - the protea - be placed on the left side of the chest on national sports jerseys.
This rule had already forced SA Rugby to move the Springbok from the left of the chest to the right side.
According to guidelines from the International Rugby Board (IRB), its World Cup logo must be placed on the right side of the chest on all teams' jerseys during the tournament.
In the Springboks' case, this means there will be no space on the front of the jersey for the most famous badge in world rugby.
Negotiations in this regard between the IRB, the government and SA Rugby have apparently ended in a stalemate, which leaves SARU with no choice but to move the Springbok to the sleeve of the World Cup jersey.
This might be everything but a popular choice, but SA Rugby doesn't have much of a choice in this case.
The IRB's policy also determines that no jersey sponsor's name may appear on the jerseys, which means Absa - who in all likelihood will take over as sponsor from Sasol next year - will not be able to exercise that right during the World Cup.
The Springbok emblem and its placement on the jersey has long been an emotional issue, and it's mainly thanks to former president Nelson Mandela that the emblem has stayed on the jersey.