As the 2014 RBS Six Nations kicks off this weekend, the Italian Rugby Federation has taken the rather unusual step of releasing their new home and away kits. Frankly, we’d complain about the funny timing, but let’s be honest, they’re giving us something to write about at a very lean time of the year for international shirts, so we’re not going to smack that particular gift horse in its long face.
It is a weird one though – every other Northern Hemisphere team brought out their new kit in time for the Autumn Internationals back in November, including fellow Adidas team France. But for whatever reason Italy have waited until now. Perhaps to cash in on the profile and popularity of of the Six Nations to shift a few shirts, perhaps because everyone at the FIR was just too busy getting their ends away and driving around on scooters to get the damn thing out in time.
But what about the shirt itself? Well, it’s pretty much an evolution of last year’s shirt from Adidas really – it’s clean, simple, and rather hard not to like. Like other Adidas shirts this year, the stripes go all the way around the rear shoulders of the shirt, and in a similar way to France’s shirt this year, the stripes are flag-coordinated. We think they work much better here than they do on the France kit, and really lift the shirt up from ‘too plain’ territory.
One thing that we don’t like is, annoyingly, hard to see in any of the images we’ve been able to source so far. For some reason, there are rather ugly white stripe/panels under the shirt’s arms towards the back – it takes what was a really clean, simple but still really handsome shirt, and pushes it towards the dreaded Club Rep polo shirt territory…
But, it’s not a deal-breaker for us – this is a really great looking shirt, with some really nice details and touches. Adidas have gone for both bold and classic designs this season, and they’ve had success with both – this is one of their better efforts, that would be a classic if not for those under-arm panels.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD