Since the Italian regions joined the Pro12 back in 2010, they’ve steadily become more relevant and competitive. While the notion of them troubling the top half of the table seems a way off yet, they’ve proved, both in the league and in the Heineken Cup, that they’re no pushovers. But of course, all their on-field success will matter not one jot, if they don’t look good while they’re doing it, so let’s dive in…
Benetton Rugby Treviso
Treviso have carried the standard for Italian domestic rugby in recent years, giving a good account of themselves at home in both league and Euro competition, picking up the scalps of Leinster, Ospreys and more along the way, and finishing a very respectable seventh last time out. Their new-found relevance has coincided with a big-name shirt sponsor, with the Treviso club now having its shirts made by Canterbury. While the green and white hoops might just be too much for some, you work with what you’ve got, and we really like the little touches here, such as the tricolour Italian flag collar motif. There’s no doubt that this shirt suffers from sponsor overload, but in a weird way – there’s too many tiny sponsors, whereas using one of them as a main sponsor would break up the front a bit and make it look a little less bare.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD
We don’t really know what zebras have to do with Northern Italy, but when they joined the league last season, replacing the defunct Aironi, we were a bit disappointed with their kit choices. The home shirt was a cookie-cutter black and white affair, while the Heineken Cup shirt embraced the zebra theme perhaps a little too much. Thankfully, Zar-X has taken a nice path down the middle with this shirt – it’s perhaps a little plain and bland for our tastes, but the subtle zebra striping at the bottom at least adds a bit of interest. A classic it isn’t, but for a new company finding their feet in the rugby shirt world, it’s okay.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD. ISH.
Check back soon for the final part of our Pro12 countdown, where we’ll be taking a look at the shirts for the Scottish teams this season.