Right ladies and gents, the RWC has come and gone, and the champions have been crowned. Naturally, the Springboks will remain the World Champions for the next 4 years. But we at TRF feel that it is necessary to also incorporate another international competition, based loosely around the idea that to be the champ, you`ve got to beat the champ. And also to add some more spice to the international calendar, especially to the May and November cross-hemisphere test matches.
Seeing as TRF are generally well ahead of the game, we have decided to exceed the authority of the IRB and create our own tournament- the TRF International Shield. It works like this- as the current RWC winners, the Springboks become the 1st official holders of the TRF International Shield. But, unlike the RWC title, this shield is up for grabs every test you play. That`s right- every single time!
So the Boks take on Wales in Cardiff on 24 November 2007. This will be their 1st defense of the title. If Wales wins this match, they will become the new holders of the TRF International Shield, to be defended in their next outing. If the Boks win or draw, they will retain their title. Which will then be put up for defense in their next encounter, and so forth.
The rules are simple- all full international test matches between individual countries will be considred. This excludes invitational sides like the BaaBaas or a World XV. It also excludes combined test teams like the Lions and the combined PIRA team.
So, come 24 November, who will be the official holders- the reigning champion Bokke, or the challengers, Wales?