London Irish might not be too ‘London’ any more, playing as they do in Reading these days, but they’ve never been shy of emphasising the ‘Irish’ part, not least around St Patrick’s Day, when the club lays on a big ol’ party for the fans around the club’s closest home game to the day in question.
But the St Patrick’s Day party isn’t just about rugby, entertainment and the inevitable stereotypical excessive consumption of the Black Stuff – the club also plays the game in question (this year against Newcastle on the 28th March) in a special, one-off jersey for the occasion.
There’s an extra air of Irish authenticity to this year’s jersey, produced as it is by the club’s new kit supplier – Irish GAA specialists O’Neills – and there’s plenty to like about it, too.
We were a little meh on O’Neills’ take on the Irish 2014/15 home, alternate and third shirts the club released at the start of the season. There was nothing wrong with them per se, but they were a little plain and well… a touch boring for us to really get excited about.
This, on the other hand, is most certainly not boring – in fact it’s one of our favourite shirts of the season. We absolutely love the shirt’s green and black colour scheme, and the diagonal hoops are as modern and cutting edge as they are clean and classy.
Combined with black right-hand sleeve, it’s suitably St Patrick’s-y (read: green) while being significantly more eye-catching and interesting than the rather too Spartan regular shirts.
Irish are only wearing this shirt for one game, and chances are a large section of the crowd will be too, er, immersed in the St Patrick’s Day party spirit to remember much about what the team were wearing that day, but that’s no reason not to hold up this shirt as one of the nicest, classiest designs of the season.
Here’s hoping Irish let O’Neills off the leash a little more next season, so we can see more interesting designs such as this.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD