Summer makeover for shield

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 05:00 06/10/2012

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Room has been found for the Mooloos on the over-crowded face of the Ranfurly Shield.

New Zealand Rugby Union bosses have confirmed they will remove the current badges and replace them with slightly smaller ones to create more space.

After Waikato thumped Taranaki 46-10 to lift the Log this week, shocked rugby bosses discovered there was no room on the shield to place a silver plaque recording Waikato's tenure.

Waikato Rugby Union chief executive officer Graham Bowen suggested a carved base or stand to hold the extra plaques, but the bigwigs at the national office have stepped in to restore order.

The plaques will undergo ‘minor maintenance' to open up more shield space, something NZRU general manager community and provincial rugby Brent Anderson said had been in the pipeline for some time.

"To ensure the traditions of the shield remain intact and that all previous holders would have their claims recorded all the badges on the shield will be replaced with slightly smaller but identically shaped badges with standardised engraving denoting the successful challenges."

Waikato fans have made suggestions of their own, such as drawing a cow on the shield, painting it red, yellow and black or removing any evidence of Auckland ever holding it. Shield history is dripping with folklore for both players and fans alike and is littered with stories of fans using their initiative to get the job done.

Mr Bowen agrees it would be another chapter in shield history, but would never sanction any alteration without approval.

He said the Waikato Rugby Union does not own the shield and are only custodians for a period of time.

"That's not our style of doing things to be honest."

TICKETS

Waikato Rugby has launched two ticket specials for seats in the covered and uncovered sections of the Wel Network Stand for next weekend's shield challenge. $20 for two tickets between the 22 and goal line in the uncovered section of the Wel Network Stand. $30 for two tickets between the 22 and goal line in the covered section of the Wel Network Stand. *The ticket deals will not be available on game day.

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- Waikato Times

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