2018 Super Rugby fashion review, part two

Harry Jones Roar Guru

By Harry Jones, Harry Jones is a Roar Guru

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    The Sunwolves will definitely set the standard for wildness in 2018, as I outlined in part one of the fashion review, but the rest of the Super Rugby family is a bit of a mixed bag.

    The Blues
    The Blues are my Kiwi team, but I am not a fan of their 2018 jerseys. They are less blue, unserious and in no way intimidating. They played best when they sported a reserved, darker blue strip. The brighter and lighter their costumes, the sillier their rugby.

    The home jersey for 2018 is an impressionistic take on the ridges surrounding the volcano that stands above Auckland’s Mount Eden. But that volcano is dormant, so all we have is a distressed, acid-washed pattern of impotence.

    The away shirt is better because it’s dark blue instead of the more predictable white and channels fire and ash from a volcano, which is theoretically active. We can call these jerseys the Emo Luatua Edition.

    The Reds
    The Queensland Reds are my Australian team. I am excited about the maroon heritage jersey, with a sharp white collar. The home jersey is not much of a change, but it is a little darker than before, which is a welcome ‘change’. Any patterns are sublimated, as should be the case for any rugby uniform.

    But the big news is the heritage jersey. The Reds front office extols the raglan sleeve design with contrast underarm mesh panelling, the lightweight two-way stretch base cloth, the tapered v-neck collar with reinforced herringbone tape, the silicon gel chest logos, the drop hem finish and the sleeve cuffs.

    But it’s just a beautiful, old-school colour and shape. Look sharp, play sharp. Well done, Reds. I believe Sheek will approve.

    The Jaguares
    There is nothing wrong with the Jaguares uniforms, really. Channelling the elegance and grace of a predatory feline, the Argentines always look like dashing dudes as the game starts. In fact these are probably the most flattering jerseys in the competition. Even the beef-fed props from Salta look svelte.

    The subtle, almost invisible hoops of the dark version are probably the best in the competition. The trouble starts when they don their yellowish jerseys. Referees see yellow, and you know what happens next.

    Tomas Levanini is in a three-man competition with the All Blacks skipper and flyhalf and the Australian captain to garner the most cards, but he has a unique advantage over Kieran Read and Michael Hooper with his garish card-inspired strip.

    The Rebels
    The main point of the Rebels was to not be the Force, then become the Force. So nobody has bothered to make a jersey for 2018.

    If it’s like 2017, it will be the busiest of the Australian jerseys, with a very respectable hoop design reminiscent of Kiwi clubs just below Super Rugby level and a bit larrikin in colour, with Victorian navy blue and white key ingredients, but I am not sure why red always comes in.

    Five stars will adorn the chest, representing respect, excellence, balance, ethos and leadership. Perhaps the five stars should just represent the fact that Melbourne has better hotels and bistros than Perth and that Rugby Australia prefers to party there.

    The Waratahs
    Australian teams for the most part favour a simple approach to jerseys. The Reds are almost always red, even if they dabble with being less maroon than they should. The Brumbies are going back to the future this year, and the 2018 Waratahs are taking the classic approach this year as well.

    Yes, they will have the best spandex-infused technology, with high yokes and indestructible webbing. Nobody has ever torn or pulled a modern Aussie’s jersey off, as seems to happen to Saffas every week (Jean Deysel, Eben Etzebeth, and Vincent Koch are recent examples of players who enhanced their reputations by having their cheap jerseys pulled off).

    But the silhouette and colour blocking of the Tahs home jersey is impeccably old-school, with Cambridge blue their main sight, no silly patterns and navy blue the secondary shade. The state flower is tastefully depicted; there’s no surreal Kiwi artwork, even if Kiwis made this jersey.

    The main point of the Tahs strip is to not be Queensland maroon, and the home version is a good, stark contrast. But the away jersey is a bit more red than you would expect given the raison d’etre of Sydney rugby.

    Of interest to a man like Sheek, if New South Wales were really to go old-school with their jerseys, they’d sport heather green.

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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • Roar Guru

      December 29th 2017 @ 5:19pm
      Kia Kaha said | December 29th 2017 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

      Brad Thorn and a heritage jersey. Something tells me your Aussie team has a winning combo this year, Harry.

      • Roar Guru

        December 30th 2017 @ 12:13am
        Harry Jones said | December 30th 2017 @ 12:13am | ! Report

        He won’t lose easily.

        They should play every home match in heritage maroon.

    • Roar Guru

      December 29th 2017 @ 5:55pm
      Machooka said | December 29th 2017 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

      Thanks MrJones… for your follow-up on this most important issue of on-field rugby fashion. And if clothes does maketh the man, does his rugby jersey maketh the player?

      For mine, it’s an interesting dichotomy… and one that deserves this attention.

      Sadly, for this old Tahs’ supporter I feel our jersey is as you state… old school. So old school it’s entrenched in old habits, old systems, and the old tradition of losing when we should be winning. Once upon a time we were winners. Even grinners.

      Alas, another year of mediocrity beckons for the faithful… and that too includes sheek!

      • Roar Guru

        December 30th 2017 @ 12:15am
        Harry Jones said | December 30th 2017 @ 12:15am | ! Report

        Perhaps the State flower should grow? Flower power!

      • Roar Guru

        December 30th 2017 @ 11:36pm
        RobC said | December 30th 2017 @ 11:36pm | ! Report

        MrChook I reckon they should change the fashion rules so you can identify players easily:
        – piggies wear pig coloured caps with pig ears esp the props
        – backrowers wear jailbird stripes
        – backs wear tutus

    • Columnist

      December 29th 2017 @ 10:50pm
      Geoff Parkes said | December 29th 2017 @ 10:50pm | ! Report

      Harry, I fear that due to timing this series (is two a series?) will be criminally under-read.

      So many nuggets. The ‘Emo Luatua version’ indeed!

      • Roar Guru

        December 30th 2017 @ 12:16am
        Harry Jones said | December 30th 2017 @ 12:16am | ! Report

        Thank you, sir.

        I’ll do Part 3: “who wore it better?”

    • Roar Guru

      December 29th 2017 @ 11:45pm
      DaniE said | December 29th 2017 @ 11:45pm | ! Report

      You’re the Anna Wintour of rugby Harry. But with a smile.

      Hmm I think the Waratahs’ Pasifika jersey sold ok this year. In any case, one of the leftover jerseys was offered as a competition prize by the franchise (in a 2XXL if I remember right?). So the Tahs aren’t immune to an artwork jersey! Wonder if they’ll do that again next year, to raise some much needed funds.

    • December 30th 2017 @ 7:52am
      Rugby Tragic said | December 30th 2017 @ 7:52am | ! Report

      Thanks Harry but the City of Sails with Rangitoto Island sitting majestically in the Hauraki Gulf a known landmark or the sponsored strewn jerseys of the Blues could never replace the more traditional blue and white hoops of the regional Auckland Jersey…. Perhaps that is the reason of impotence … trying to be something else, trying to morph into another identity …

      • Roar Guru

        December 30th 2017 @ 8:01am
        Harry Jones said | December 30th 2017 @ 8:01am | ! Report


        I AGREE that a blue-and-white hooped jersey is true rugby beauty incarnate.

    • Roar Guru

      December 30th 2017 @ 12:43pm
      RobC said | December 30th 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

      Haazaaaaaaaaaaàåæāáaàä!!!!!! Hilarious! Thanks again man.

      You’re a fashionista. I’m a Sandinista. Shrek is a contra

      Larva-ninny’s stripes should be red.

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