After losing the Grand Final in 2013, the Brumbies weren’t quite able to scale the same heights in 2014, losing out in the semi-finals to the Waratahs. The Canberra-based franchise is well armed for another run at the playoffs this year however, and once again they’ll be doing it wearing kit produced by Aussie league specialists Classic Sportswear.
Last season was the Brumbies’ first year back with Classic after having variously been sponsored by Canterbury, ISC, Kooga and BLK over the last decade or so. We say back with Classic, as the Australian rugby league specialist was actually the franchise’s first kit supplier all the way back in 1996, and they’ll be with them again until 2018.
Fittingly, this year’s design is Classic by name, and pretty classic by nature, too. The Brumbies’ shirt has been relatively unchanged for some time now – blue top half, bottom white half and three gold stripes of descending thickness across the middle – and the 2015 version keeps things very much in that wheelhouse.
There’s less white involved in this year’s shirt, with the side panels blue this time around, as opposed to white. It’s hardly breaking the mould in a Damien Hirst kinda way, but it’s a definite improvement in our book, making the shirt look a little more coherent. We’re not too keen on the weird yellow wiggly lines on the sides though – it clutters things a little bit.
The collar placket is rather unusual too – it reminds us a little of the old Under Armour ‘bibs’ that they had on their shirts back in 2011, but whereas we kinda hated that look, this works. It’s a contemporary-looking design choice that adds a splash of the modern to what’s a very classic style shirt.
The alternate shirt continues last season’s policy of putting the Brumbies in yellow for their alternate (a more satisfactory solution than the old blue/white swap method that left very little contrast to make use of.
This design is less simple than last year’s there’s more weird paneling and such, and we could do without the weird gradiated dots on the main body of the shirt. That said, we really like the inclusion of three faded white bars on the chest – it’s such a Brumbies staple, it makes this feel more like a proper ACT shirt than just a random away jersey, which is how last year’s felt to us.
In addition to the home and away shirts, the Brumbies also have a special one-off shirt this season, which will be worn on ANZAC weekend. Similar to the celebrations marking the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landings in the NRL that weekend, the Brumbies special shirt is also full of heavy, sombre symbolism.
From the silhouetted World War I soldier on the bottom right of the jersey, to the Remembrance poppies strewn up the sides, to the modern camouflage pattern, presumably a nod to those still serving in the Australian Armed Forces, there’s plenty of tasteful and respectful nods to the meaning of ANZAC day here, combined again with the three chest bars, this time in restrained dark blue, which instantly mark this out as a Brumbies jersey – all in all a really super effort.
Designing a Brumbies home shirt isn’t the easiest job in the world… and at the same time it is. The basic design elements are so set in stone, it’s hard to get it wrong… but it’s also hard to do anything bold or unusual without abandoning what is a pretty iconic look.
We think this year’s home design hits a nice balance between the two – it maintains all the elements of what a Brumbies shirt should be, while adding a tasteful, modern twist to things. Meanwhile the alternate shirt builds on last year’s colour theme but gives it a more Brumbies-esque vibe. All in all, three very nice jerseys indeed.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD