After eight long years of ending up on the losing side of the State Of Origin argument, New South Wales finally won it in 2014, upsetting the bookies and the pundits by recording a 2-1 series victory, winning the first two matches in tight, close encounters over the Maroons.
While the first Blues victory since 2005 made last season’s series a memorable one, Queensland’s dominant display in the dead rubber ensures that the NSW team will have their work cut out, and once again they’ll be doing said work in a jersey from Classic Sportswear.
If your remember last season’s offering from the Aussie Rugby League specialists, it’s clear that Classic have opted for subtle tweaks to that design rather than anything dramatic…
It’s a very successful bit of tweaking however – by trimming down the side panels, replacing the shoulder panels with piping, and borrowing the more angular collar panel from Classic’s 2015 Brumbies shirt, it’s gave the jersey a much more modern feel than the rather early-2000s looking design from last year.
All in all, it’s a slightly cleaner, more grown up looking design, which is entirely appropriate for a team that abandoned eight years of being shite and came of age in 2014… time will tell whether it was a false dawn or not.
If the on-pitch shirt is an exercise in classy and restrained design, the training shirt is uh… well… honestly we have no frigging idea. None.
Last season they had a derivative but at least recognisable ‘pretend Iron Man/robot armour’ kinda vibe… this is… well it’s a mess. Is that supposed to be like a relief map? Or some kind of rusted metal or weathered stone? Is it supposed to be a face? A suit of armour?
Round the back just makes it even more confusing – is it water, or cloud, maybe? We’re genuinely stumped, which is massively helpful when it comes to making our minds up about this shirt – if you have any ideas what the pattern is supposed to be, answers on a postcard…
Thankfully, we don’t need to know what it is to know it looks dreadful. Just dreadful. Thank god it’s just a training shirt.
Thankfully though, the primary Jersey is a subtle and very successful update – a classy, clean shirt that befits a defending champion.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD