Canada, Fiji, Samoa & Japan 2013 Rugby Shirts

The Autumn Internationals are nearly upon us, and while most of the attention is on the Rugby Championship teams, it’d be remiss of us to forget that they aren’t the only ones taking on the Six Nations teams this November…

Canada

CanadaCanada might have a reputation the world over as being nice, but there can be little doubt that over the years, the Canuck rugby team has committed some of the most heinous and despicable rugby shirt hate crimes ever inflicted upon the supporters of our fair game.

After those ocular offenses, it’s hard for any Canadian shirt that’s come since to not seem like some kind of step up. That doesn’t make this shirt any better, however. It might be a little less ugly than previous Canada shirts, but there’s still just something odd about the whole thing.

The colour scheme, the lack of effort in the design… it looks and feels like a shirt that someone invented for Canada for a rugby video game because they couldn’t license the real CRU designs, and given that this IS the real design, well that’s a bit dire…

SHIT/GOOD RATING: SHIT

Fiji

FijiKicking the Fiji national team about their shirt is a bit like kicking a half-blind puppy in the face because he’s got a stupidly over the top collar – we feel a bit bad.

While still a force to be reckoned with on the sevens scene, financial issues and political turmoil have caused the fortunes of the 15-a-side to take a nose dive in recent years. They’re likely to return home on the wrong end of a few hidings, and sadly they’ll be doing it in a pretty crap shirt.

The sad thing is, there’s nearly a pretty nice shirt here – we really like the way they’ve integrated the tribal patterns into the shirt designs in recent years, and if they’d have left it at that, BLK would probably have been sorted. But nope, they just had to stick a bloody palm tree on the front, didn’t they? It’s about as 90s as it gets, and not in a good way.

SHIT/GOOD RATING: SHIT

Japan

JapanHome

Rugby in Japan is on something of a high at the moment after a hugely significant win over an admittedly shit and third-string Wales side in the summer. And while the odds of them picking up a win on tour might be pretty slim, at least they’ll be doing it in style.

We’re big fans of Canterbury’s half-hooped design – it’s a nice compromise for teams that want to maintain a solid colour without looking too plain, and it works really well here – it’s hard not to like the white/red combo, really. Indeed, it’ll look stunning on that platoon of Aussie and Kiwi ex-pats with newly minted Japanese passports that will no doubt turn out at Murrayfield this month…

SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD

Samoa

SamoaOf all the Tier 2 nations touring the Northern Hemisphere this Autumn, Samoa are the most likely ones to pick up a result or two.

It’s fitting then, that they’re doing it in a so-wrong-it’s-right shirt that’s as eye-catching as it is horribly 90s. But while BLK’s Fiji effort was 90s in the most ugly and unsightly way, this one has something gloriously retro about it. It’s like someone took rave culture and distilled it into a pattern that would work on the front of a rugby shirt, and here we are. Nice!

SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD

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