Connacht 2014/15 BLK Third/European Shirt

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Not content with the new BLK home and alternate shirts that we reviewed a little while back, Irish province Connacht have now unveiled their latest new third/European. Some people get annoyed when teams release loads of new shirts every season, but frankly, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy them all. We, on the other hand, have the same attitude to new rugby shirts that Keith Richards had to pharmaceutical-grade narcotics in the 1970s – we just can’t get enough. So, let’s dive in!

This new shirt differs from Connacht Euro shirts of previous seasons by being blue as opposed to black. It’s a cool look though – we weren’t keen on the green front/blue back thing on the home shirt, so a uniform blue with contrasting blue and green sleeves is a great improvement in our book.

The most striking aspect of the design is the motif on the chest, and there’s an interesting story behind its creation. When the shirt was unvieled, RSW reader, Connacht fan and artist Morgan O’Brien got in touch to explain that he was in fact responsible for the striking motif. Way back in 2011, Morgan designed a concept alternate kit for Connacht, which he and his friend Neil then submitted to the powers that be at Connacht. The board really liked the design, and while it was never put into production, it’s interesting that they were impressed enough with the concept to keep it on file for nearly four years. You can check out Neil’s original design and get a bit more background on his blog.

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Some people have been a bit meh on the design itself, but we think it’s cool – are they wings? Is that a heart? We don’t know, but it’s striking – even more so in such a bright, eye-catching shade of green.

It all hangs together very nicely with the griffons on the shoulder/sleeve areas – a feature borrowed from the home and alternate shirts. Ironically for a shirt that has so much going on, it doesn’t feel too cluttered – there’s a few different ideas here, but they’re clearly separated by piping/panelling, making the whole thing really work together.

Technically Connacht are claiming this is their third shirt, but they wore it for the first time in Europe, and that’s probably where it’s going to get the most use. That said, this is a very cool, unusual design, so we’ll be more than happy to see Connacht run out in it on a more regular basis too.

SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD

Racing Métro 92 2014/15 Kappa Home, Alternate & Third Shirts

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Racing Métro 92 are a team where style seems to be just as important as results or trophies. Certainly there were times last season when the only thing the team had to cling to, but as the season went on, Racing’s star-studded team started to do their shirt proud and finished the season very strongly, making a late playoff surge.

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Canada Rugby 2014/14 Under Armour Home & Alternate Shirts

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After a few years wearing some fairly uninspiring shirts produced by UK firm Kooga, Canada have become just the second test playing nation to sign a sponsorship deal with US sportswear giant Under Armour. As you’ll no doubt already know, UA also supply Wales and Clermont Auvergne and uh… well… that’s somewhat hard to forget here… let’s take a look.  Continue reading

South Africa Sevens Blitzbokke 2014/15 ASICS Home & Alternate Shirts

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South African Sevens rugby has been going to strength to strength in recent years, with the Blitzbokke finishing second in the IRB Sevens Series overall standings in 2013/14, and they’ll be hoping to mount a serious challenge to the all-conquering Kiwis this time around. As with all good sevens teams, South Africa also know that sevens shirts should be as bonkers as possible, so let’s run the rule over what new supplier ASICS has produced for them this year…

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Australia Sevens 2014/15 ASICS Home & Alternate Shirts

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The 2014/15 IRB Sevens World Series kicks off with the Gold Coast tournament this weekend, and with Olympic qualification hinging on teams performance this year, the circuit promises to be the most competitive in some time. With that in mind, what better way to welcome the new Sevens season in than by checking out the new shirts of Gold Coast hosts Australia… Continue reading

USA Eagles 2014/15 BLK Home & Alternate Shirts

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For the last few years, USA Rugby has been having their kits made by Canterbury, and despite the USA’s relatively minor place in the pantheon of great rugby powers, it always felt as though the UK firm was really making an effort to supply the Eagles with something a bit out of the ordinary and interesting. But this year, the USA has joined a host of other clubs and national sides in signing up with Aussie big noises BLK – are they going to keep things as interesting as Canterbury did? Let’s dive in…

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Scotland Rugby 2014/15 Macron Alternate Shirt

 

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There’s no new home shirt for Scotland this season, and given how unabashedly lovely that particular garment is, quite right too. We are if nothing else the most heinous rugby shirt addicts, however, and so we’re very glad to see that things won’t be all the same this year, as the Murrayfield men will be trotting out in a new alternate jersey. Let’s take a look.

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