The All-Blacks are tied into a contract with German manufacturer Adidas for one of rugby’s power partnerships, lasting 16 years and counting. This time around, New Zealand have had no change from the classic and crisp black on black on black. Accented with a chevron pattern similar to England, and gunmetal grey logos for the silver fern and Adidas logos. The rounded collar polishes this simple shirt off.
Los Pumas are in for a rugby revolution after being confirmed to join the southern hemisphere’s powerhouse group, SANZAR, in 2016. This means that their first World Cup after competing in the Rugby Championship is very important for the future of rugby in South America. American firm Nike, with their only contract in this RWC (after losing England and France), have to represent this. And they have. Going with the modern classic take of hoops and panels. The white side panels break up the shirt with the shoulders being the azure sky that finishes off the top. Collar is rounded and unimaginative. The alternate is a dark blue with a puma pattern in blue. Far better.
Pacific islanders, Tonga, have teamed up with Belfast firm Kukri to create a somewhat simplistic kit. It has plenty to look for in this one. Traditional tribal art in white on the shoulder accent this one perfectly. More tribal patterns can be found on the underarms in red. Also in red, is a crown on the arm. Plenty of sublimation on this one. The collar is a bit strange, but inoffensive. The change is the same template but in white with the red accent.
Another minnow, another shirt. Under Armour’s portfolio isn’t huge but contains some big sides. I struggle to see how Georgia is going to boost their brand, and I think they’d struggle to find decent reasoning as well. Hence the adoption of a two year old template. The awful Under Armour tongue (or tit-splitter depending on the person) and T-Bar is back with a vengeance! This time, in a black base with red accents, not too dissimilar to the new Wasps kit. Standard league style popped collar. Change is the same but in red with white accents.
The only Canterbury representative in this group, Namibia, have got nothing to lose and all to gain at this World Cup. The Welwitschias are still searching for their first win at the RWC in four tournaments. This time, their kit is a bit of an odd one. 2007 is very much still alive with the white piping on the top of a blue base. Something I’ve never seen from CCC is sublimated through the base, which are upward curved pinstripes. Gives it a flash of knitwear. Oddly enough, this look is strangely 90s, with it’s angular side panels.
Editors note: The kit that has been provided by the Namibia Rugby Union as a replica for fans to wear is a completely different version – it includes a completely different badge (a Welwitschia plant, replacing the African Fish Eagle) for one thing!