Rugby Jerseys – colourful!
The patterns and colours of rugby jerseys owe much to the history of the game but in recent years technology and performance have had a big impact on the design and materials used in the shirts worn by professional rugby union players.
Rugby Jersey: Materials
Rugby Jerseys: Materials
Rugby jerseys were originally made of cotton and had long sleeves and collars. The new form fitting designs evolved to make players more aero dynamic and to give opponents less to grab in a tackle. The unforseen side effect is that players are struggling to make a bind in the scrum and some are calling for ‘handles’ on the front row players shirts to alleviate this issue.
Rugby is a contact sport so rugby jerseys need to be able to stand up to the rigours of play. 80 minutes of tackling and grabbing requires a robust material and professional rugby jerseys are manufactured with this in mind. The material can not only withstand the hardships of the game but the new fitted tops are designed to retain their shape and ‘snap back’ against the body when pulled in a tackle.
The physical nature of the game also means that moisture is an issue. Original cotton rugby jerseys would retain the rain or players sweat, and were quite heavy by the end of a match. Modern lightweight water resistant synthetic materials are used for rugby jerseys as its designed to wick moisture away from the body, keeping the players cool for that extra bit of energy in a game where every advantage, however small, counts.
Rugby Jerseys: Specification
The World Rugby Rugby Rules set out criteria for all types of rugby gear. It also states players must leave the pitch to change their kit if it becomes blood stained but for a torn rugby jersey they have to quickly swap it while on the pitch.
Watch Richie Gray, John Barclay and Ross Ford attempting the Canterbury Jersey Strength Challenge on the new Rugby World Cup Scotland Rugby Jerseys.
As in most sports colours of international rugby jerseys usually reflect the colours of the nations flags. One notable exception is the iconic New Zealand All Black strip. The black top and shorts are emblematic of the sport and there was controversy when the England Rugby Team at the 2011 Rugby World Cup announced that their ‘away’ rugby jerseys would be black.
If it was a mind game to try to throw the New Zealanders off their game it didn’t work. England went home after a quarter final defeat to France and the All Blacks lifted the trophy for the second time in the tournaments history.
The Rugby Sevens teams rugby jerseys reflect the flamboyant and fun culture which surrounds that form of the game. Bright colours abound, with Australia wearing a lime green rugby jerseys, and England a yellow and orange affair. The strips worn by the teams is nothing compared to the outfits worn by the fans attending the tournament which get more elaborate every year.
Many club teams wear rugby jerseys which retain the colours of the original kit worn when the club was formed. Tradition dictates that Harlequins wear a chequered strip of white, red, green and black and Leicester Tigers wear stripes of red, green and white.
Some of the newer clubs have gone for more daring designs, Stade de France a case in point with their vibrant pink and blue leopard print strip.
They don’t just have colourful rugby jerseys, even the French team’s goal posts are pink.