It's Friday again, and the Rugby World Cup countdown continues; four weeks from today, the much-awaited tournament begins, and it's not an exaggeration to say that we are looking forward to it.
The All Black squad to travel to South Africa next week will be named today at the conclusion of a two-day camp. Graham Henry has already suggested that only 24 players will travel, and that a few high-profile All Blacks will not be amongst them. We don't have a problem with that approach; the Crusaders players especially have travelled enough this year, and such was the form of the likes of Carter and McCaw last weekend that a week off won't hurt them. It's a good opportunity to give game time to the likes of Kahui, SBW, Woodcock and co, but the one interesting dilemma Henry faces is that of Mils Muliaina; he and McCaw were both on target to play their 100th test matches in the RWC opener; if McCaw doesn't play against South Africa, will Muliaina? Or should that even be a consideration?
There's another full weekend of ITM Cup matches this weekend. Match of the round is the Battle of the Bays; Hawkes Bay vs Bay of Plenty. Southland defends the Ranfurly Shield against North Harbour, and Manawatu has a royal chance of knocking over Wellington. And let's not forget the Heartland Championship; the mighty men of Wanganui demolished King Country last weekend in only their second run together of the season, and will be even better when they take on South Canterbury in Timaru.
The Warriors are home this weekend after their heartbreaking loss to the Broncos. They take on the Newcastle Knights at Mt Smart tomorrow night, and a win will strengthen their claims for play-offs football.
The Barclay's Premiership kicks off this weekend. We're ever hopeful that this will be the Year of the Arse, but as Arsenal fans for over 40 years, we're used to disappointment. There'll also be interest in the debut performance of Tottenham's Italian striker Grabbatelli (thanks to Sportsfreak for that one!)!
Tiger Woods won't win the PGA Championship. A seven-over 77 opening round has left him way back. Adam Scott was eight shots better, but leading early on is one of our favourite players, and possible the holder of the title that no-one wants - Best Player Never To Have Won A Major - Steve Stricker leads after a brilliant seven-under 63.
That's all we can think of this morning. We're bound to have missed something, so feel free to correct us. In the meantime, the floor is, as ever, yours...