Bok logo in another switch

The famous Springbok emblem won't be on the front of the South African shirt at next year's World Cup. [more]

Bok logo in another switch

The famous Springbok emblem won’t be on the front of the South African shirt at next year’s World Cup.

The emblem has been the subject of heated debate for a number of years due to its association with the apartheid era.

The Springbok symbol was moved from the left to the right breast prior to the start of the 2009 Lions tour and will now be moved away from the front of the shirt entirely.

The Springbok will instead appear on the left sleeve of the national shirt, although the move is only a temporary one for future World Cups.

Events organized by the International Rugby Board require the IRB logo to appear on the front of all international team shirts, hence the disappearance of the Springbok for next year’s global gathering in New Zealand.

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"The decision was very straightforward in the end as our attempts to find a place for the Springbok on the front of the jersey failed to find favour," said Dr Jan Marais, chairman of the South African Rugby Union executive council.

"We were left with no choice and the important point to note is that this application will only be for IRB World Cup events."

With only three marks allowed on the front of a team jersey at the World Cup and government legislation back in South Africa stating that the national flower, the Protea, must be included as the country’s official emblem, the Springbok symbol was the one to miss out.

Those three marks must follow the following protocol: the first should be a nation's national emblem on the left breast; the second should be the event mark on the right breast; and the third should be the logo of the kit sponsor in the centre.

"The IRB's regulations and those of the National Colours Act are both clear and, although we held discussions to look at options, the cleanest solution was to put the Springbok on the sleeve on its own," added Marais.

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