World Cup Diary: Wrists are the new gums for logo cops

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The Independent Online

It's not just the mouthguards. Having fined two of the Tuilagis for flouting the IRB's intelligently written, entirely sensible and wholly justified regulations limiting on-field advertising, the "logo police" are now taking a close interest in wristbands.

"Handwritten messaging on wrist strappings need to be personal and discreet," says Kit McConnell, the World Cup director. On balance, All Black flanker Jerome Kaino should get away with his quote from Paul's Epistle to the Philippians – a line of the "Lord, give me strength" variety. Which is pretty much how everyone feels when the IRB is at work.

Moo's there? It's Richie McCow

We have so far here ignored "Richie McCow", a black Ayrshire calf born with a silver-fern blaze on its head who is said – by the NZ press – to have psychic tipping powers (remember Paul the German Octopus in last year's football World Cup?) but we must report that this three-month-old resident of a field near the village of Maungaturoto has predicted an Argentina victory over NZ tomorrow. How do we know this? In his latest test he preferred a bottle with a Puma flag to one with All Black markings. Call it mad calf disease.

Lawmakers look to restore lost art

Martin Johnson was clearly unhappy with the South African official Craig Joubert during last weekend's encounter with the Scots with regards to their antics in the scrum.

Interestingly, the lawmakers will soon start discussing radical changes to the scrum, involving the removal of the "hit", a calling of the set piece as "active" when the front rows are engaged and, it is hoped, a restoration of the lost arts of old-fashioned propping and hooking. Just so long as half-backs are made to put the ball in straight.