Hot on the heels of the home shirt yesterday, England have also revealed their alternate shirt for this year’s Rugby World Cup tournament. We were at the launch yesterday, so got a chance to check out the new design up close, and had a chat with a few of the England squad members about the new design – let’s get stuck in.
As has generally been the case with England shirts over the last few years, the alternate shirt is basically the same as the home design, but with some colours swapped around, so that means we get the same V’d grip tape, on the chest, the same new Loop neckline and the big talking point, the 3D injection-moulded badge.
Unlike the last World Cup where England went regrettably black, we’re keeping things simple and standard this time around with a red alternate shirt, which seemed to be pleasing the fans and players alike.
Indeed, when we sat down with England front rowers Jamie George and Mako Vunipola, they both remarked how much they liked the red shirt, though George also admitted that he “really liked the purple one actually,” therefore his opinion is invalid, and we’ll speak no more of the matter.
Vunipola was one of the England players sporting the alternate shirt during the launch, and he was clearly very taken with it, “I like it, it’s really light and easy to move in, I really like the colour… and the rose is quite cool.” Given the colour, we couldn’t resist asking… given that Mako’s from Tonga originally, and grew up in Wales… is he secretly pining to play in the red shirt?
“The boys have been giving me a bit of stick for about that,” he chuckles. “But nah, I like the red… but I like the rose more.”
Round the back of the shirt, the new loop neckline is much more evident on the alternate shirt, as it’s a darker shade of red, along with the sleeves – we really like the effect, we have to say. It adds a bit of contrast to the kit compared to the home design, while also making it look more distinct to last season’s home design.
The back of the alternate shirt also shows off the old-school box for the player’s numbers. It’s still very subtle, but it stands out more than it does on the home and definitely catches the light more.
After the controversy that was caused by England’s black shirt last World Cup, it’s quite refreshing to have an alternate jersey that seems to have been universally admired by players and fans alike. It’s not too dissimilar to the home shirt, of course, but when the design is this good, we’re loathe to complain!
SHIT/GOOD RATING: Good
Jamie George and Mako Vunipola were appearing alongside their England team mates at the launch of the innovative England Rugby World Cup 2015 shirt #CommittedToTheRose. Visit Canterbury.com