For the first time, each New Zealand franchise will have an official away jersey in the Super 14, which will be worn for every game that the teams play away from their respective home stadia. The jerseys were launched at a function in Auckland earlier today.
Each side will also have a unique “motif” emblazoned on the jersey – something to symbolise the region that the team represents. The Blues and Crusaders seem to have gone to town in this regard: the Aucklanders have a stylised outline of Rangitoto, a volcanic island just off the coast of their city, while the champions have a sword emblazoned on their chests. The other three franchises have opted for subtler designs which are not immediately apparent from the photographs!
First prize for style must go to the Hurricanes, whose grey away jersey is frankly stunning. The home jersey is, of course, a far more traditional yellow. The Canes being the only side in the history of the competition to wear a yellow strip means that we’ve never before seen their change jerseys. This time around, though, they will definitely wear them on their trip to South Africa.
The Crusaders have also opted for a grey-ish away jersey, to go with their more familiar red home jerseys. You can quite clearly see the sword motif in both of the images here. The new away jersey will be worn for the first time against the Brumbies in week 2 and will make its South African debut in Durban on 18 April. The Crusaders will lose that day!
The Chiefs haven’t really changed either of their strips much, although the mostly-black home jersey now looks far less cluttered than it has in the past. I reckon it’s probably the strongest of the home jerseys – hopefully the Mooloo Men will turn in a season worthy of their strip. The change jersey is white and is very similar to the one that the Chiefs have worn over numerous previous seasons.
The Highlanders have really gone all-out with their change strip and have opted for a maroon kit, inspired by the jerseys worn by Southland. Perhaps this one hasn’t been all that well thought-out, though, as it would be pretty tough to distinguish these from the Crusaders home jersey. The Highlanders will play the Crusaders in Christchurch in 2009, so presumably both sides will wear their home kit that day. The home kit is the familiar blue and yellow affair inspired by the colours of Otago.
The booby prize for missing the point entirely has to go to the JAFA’s, though! Never the brightest of the two islands’ inhabitants, they have picked an away jersey that is exactly the same colour as their home one! The addition of white panels down each side is unlikely to fool anyone much, so it’s an F for effort for the Auckland gang. To be fair, though, the jersey they have designed is really pretty… if only they’d come up with two different ones!
Thanks to www.rugbyheaven.co.nz for these images, by the way.Tweet