This decision will be regarding the placement of the Springbok emblem on the jersey of our national rugby side. After months of debate the decision has finally been reached that the emblem will be replaced on the left breast with the Protea, with the Springbok free to appear anywhere else on the jersey. This change will be implemented at the start of the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa in June/July 2009. Plus, the team can still be referred to as the Springboks. Win-win for everybody! The early part of 2009 also sees the kick-off of the most intense regional rugby competition on the globe. Super 14 fever is running high already with all of the franchises having started with preparations and training as early as December of last year. Let’s just hope the South African sides won’t be the ones with wooden spoons and no silverware at the end of 2009. South Africa started strong in the IRB Sevens tournament, claiming the first two titles up for grabs in Dubai and in front of a raucous home crowd in George. This may just be our year that we dethrone New Zealand and claim the title. The countdown has also started for Bafana Bafana and the administration of the 2010 World Cup to be hosted in South Africa to get everything ready as we as a country enter the final straight to this prestigious event set to grace our shores from 11 June till 11 July 2010.
Tickets will go on sale as soon as February of this year, so there is no turning back now. Watch this space for a more up to date reports on the status of the tournaments preparations later on this year. On the local football scene, the action is heating up in the Absa Premiership with the top 8 teams on the log within a few points of each other, it is still anybody’s league and some fierce competition can be expected as the end of the competition approaches as the year wears on. South Africa will take on Australia in one of the most gruelling series of matches yet between two sides in the first few months of 2009. The first two tests of the Australian leg of the tour were played in December, and SA showed their fighting spirit with a 6 wicket victory in Perth, chasing the second highest last innings total of 414 in test history. With the third test, two Pro20 matches and five ODI’s to follow in January. A couple of weeks of rest and recuperation, before facing each other again in three more tests, two Pro20 matches and 5 ODI’s in SA. The stuff any cricket fan’s dreams are made of! This series of matches between the top two Test and ODI outfits in the world, will be as intense as the sunshine on the beaches across SA this summer. On the local front, the final stages of the MTN Domestic Championship will reach its climax on 16 January, with the top 8 teams in the country battling it out for some silverware before resuming the Super Sport 4-day series in February. With all this action set to take place, it’s lucky that it’s so cold in the Northern hemisphere, that gives you more reason to get settled in front of the TV to watch our nation’s sports stars battling it out amongst themselves and against the best in the world.