The USA have been a regular feature on the World Sevens Series for a good long time now, but with the advent of Sevens being included in the Olympics, the USA Sevens players have turned fully pro for the first time. What’s more, USA rugby also has a new shirt sponsor, so let’s take a look at what the Eagles will be wearing as they plot a path to Olympic glory…
After the longest time with Canterbury, Australian supplier BLK are now providing USA Rugby’s kit, and we were pretty impressed with the clean simplicity of their 15s shirts when we reviewed them a while back.
Sevens is a different kettle of fish though – when it comes to sevens, we want shirts that are loud, brash and preferably completely bonkers. Canterbury surely used to understand that – their last fist at a USA Sevens shirt was a stars and stripes symphony.
This effort from BLK doesn’t quite have that same level of brash patriotism that last year’s design did, but there’s still lots to like here. It’s a cleaner, more restrained effort – but that doesn’t make it boring, oh no.
The most striking feature is the big red bar across the centre of the jersey – it’s a slightly more unusual take of the central bar on the 15s shirt, but the way it fades into the blue of the jersey… we can’t help but think somewhere between KITT and a Cylon. Anyone? Just us? Oh.
Other than the obvious, ahem, associations with 1980s TV robots, the other thing that set this jersey apart from the more demure 15s equivalent are the sublimated subtle stars that cover the top half of the jersey front. It’s not quite as Captain America as last year’s but we’re glad to see the stars retained – they look great, and we’d love to see them made more a feature in future.
There’s little doubt that this is a more restrained, not quite as memorable design compared with last year’s model. But that doesn’t make this shirt bad or boring – it’s a cool shirt, and it’s plenty brash enough to be a sevens shirt – we’d like to see BLK go even more crazy next year, though!
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD