Cardiff Blues are keeping things as you were as far as the home and alternate shirts go this season. And who can blame them – the Blues’ hooped home shirt was one of our favourite shirts not just of last season, but ever. We can certainly handle another season of watching Cardiff turn out in that. And yet… like the rugby shirt crackwhores that we are, we need new jerseys… so thank goodness Canterbury has furnished us with this new European shirt.
Last season’s Blues Heineken Cup jersey was er… very much not blue… and so the trend has continued here where it’s er… green?! You see a fair bit of green in the rugby world – not least Ireland and South Africa – but it’s generally a darker, more neutral shade. You rarely see shirts veering to the more extreme, lime/electric shade, and we think that’s a real shame.
This particular green is very much in the more striking end of the spectrum, and we really dig it. We’re not quite so sure that the logic behind it – that in deference to sponsor DS Smith Recycling they are ‘turning the Blues green’ but it works. You can make your own jokes about the current Cardiff squad being the recycled bog roll to previous seasons’ Andrex triple-ply, but there’s no doubt in our mind that the green combined with the dark blue really works.
What we’re definitely not sure about, however, is the rear of the jersey – where things take a decidedly, er, non-green turn. Canterbury has made a stock in trade of designing very simple, very classy shirts in recent years… but this seems like a bit of a weird misstep. We don’t see what making the back blue does, beyond giving the design a nice rhubarb and custard look, that’s sure to confuse refs, fans and TV cameras alike.
The back of the shirt is also a bit of a sponsor-fest. We know most players don’t tuck their shirts in any more, but going right down the back all the way to the bottom is a bit much, surely? And don’t even get us started on the fact that they’ve stuck the ‘Turning the Blues green’ slogan on the BLUE bit of the shirt…
This is a bit of a shirt of two halves, then – quite literally. We like the unusual choice of lime green for the bulk of the shirt, even if it hasn’t gone down too well with many fans, it’s surely no more garish than last year’s hot pink? And let’s not forget, it’s not the unfortunate Battenberg monstrosity of a few years back, so let’s not be too down on it.
The back, however, is less successful – we just don’t see why they’ve chosen to make all this fuss about making a shirt green, and then only committing half green. The two colours work really well together, we’d have just liked to see it implemented in a less stark way. It’s not a bad effort then, but not a classic, and one shirt we certainly won’t be sad to see make its way to the recycling plant come season’s end…
SHIT/GOOD RATING: HALFWAY GOOD