Romania have been ever-present at the Rugby World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987, but as a Tier 2 European nation, their shirts haven’t always been given the attention that a team who’ve been part of the furniture like the Oaks have necessarily deserves. Thankfully, as we saw from the new home shirt, BLK are firmly bucking that trend with their new collection.
Following on from that bespoke, unique and thoughtful home shirt, we now turn our attention to the tournament-mandated alternate design (god forbid that yellow-clad Romania improbably meet yellow-clad Australia in the knockout stages!). And again, it’s really nice to see BLK not just swapping some colours around, but creating a totally different design from the home.
The home shirt design was supposed to channel the geometric patterns and shapes used in traditional Romanian rugs, and the alternate shirt does this in an even more overt way. That very ornate pattern round the bottom of the shirt looks just like the edge of a fancy rug, especially next to the solid block of black next to it.
We talked last time about how much we love it when designers include subtle little details in their shirts that show us that they’ve really thought about what they’ve done, and there are again some clever little nods here, not least the thin line of colour separating the detailed part of the design from the colour block. It’s hard to see unless you look closely, but this band is red, yellow and blue – the colours of the Romanian flag. Nice.
As on the home shirt, we have a design flourish on the bottom of the jersey’s back, this time it’s an incredibly ornate bit of geometric design that… actually… hang on… IS THAT FRANK ZAPPA?!
Again, this is a very cool, thoughtful design for a pretty small team – always heartening to see. While the sheer detail in the geometric design might be a bit much for some, we think the monochromatic nature of the design stops it from looking too overtly ornate. Very cool.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: Good