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…
There’s something brilliant about a lime green shirt – we’ve said on many occasions how bloody brilliant the colour looks on a rugby field, and with Cardiff and Munster both opting for some shade of bright green this year, we’ve been rather spoiled.
This shirt, however, takes things up a level – the shade of green is just so very neon it’s garishly wonderful, and it looks absolutely fabulous contrasted with the traditional Springbok dark green here. Indeed, combined with the gold of the collar, it rather looks as though some mad professor has stitched together a Bok shirt and something altogether more garish, with the very en vogue random shapes giving the look of a Springbok shirt being torn asunder to reveal the batshittery beneath.
We’re less keen on the collar area, which differs from both the Springbok ASICS shirt, and the Australia XVs and Sevens shirts we’ve reviewed previously. It’s similar to the horrible, thrice-damned ‘bib’ that Under Armour stuck on Wales’ shirts for the 2011 World Cup, but less overt. While we’re glad it’s not a different colour, the way that a clearly too big ASICS logo has been crammed in there makes the area look very cluttered. A logo the size of the other shirts the Japanese firm has produced this season would have looked much less ugly.
The alternate shirts is… well we really can’t make our minds up here. The contrast of the white definitely doesn’t look as immediately pleasing as it did with the green, and if anything, makes the lime green look a little bit washed out to our eyes. The shapes across the middle off the shirt are much harder to make out, too.
The gold collar looks a bit less effective here – we can’t help but feel like there needed to be a dark colour to provide some kind of contrast here. All the bright/light colours just leave the design feeling a little wishy-washy.
We still quite dig it though, and the home shirt is a definite winner. As is always the proviso with sevens shirts, we’re not sure if it’s something we’d choose to wear out shopping on a Saturday afternoon, but on the field of play in the barmy world of the IRB Sevens Series, these shirts fit right in.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD