Uruguay have a long history of rugby union. The South American nation has been playing international rugby since all the way back in 1948, and have qualified for the World Cup on two previous occasions – 1999 and 2003. Indeed, the 1999 they even managed to win a game, beating Spain and finishing third in their pool behind South Africa and Scotland.
Despite this, they’re still definitely one of the minnows of the World Cup, ranked ahead of only one other qualifier in the World Rugby rankings, Namibia. They’ve also managed to find themselves in a pool of death with England, Australia, Wales and Fiji, and their only professional player, Castres lock Rodrigo Capó Ortega, retired just days before he was supposed to report to the Uruguay training camp for ‘personal reasons’.
So, to say Uruguay have a job on is a bit of an understatement, but on the plus side they’ve managed to sort themselves out with a pretty decent if slightly pedestrian design from UK firm Kooga.
Uruguay are Kooga’s only representative in the tournament, which is a far cry from four years ago, when the likes of Australia, Samoa and Fiji wore the brand (albeit from the Aussie arm pre the BLK rebrand).
The original UK arm is a much more niche player than its former Aussie licensee, but they both focus on designs that mix the modern with the clean to hopefully pleasing effect, and what we have here, if not exactly gorgeous, is a pretty nice effort.
While there’s something a bit 2005 about the excessive multi-weight striping going on here, it kinda works, particularly the ones around the shoulder that lead into the pop-up collar (which is quite similar to the half-and-half design that we’ve seen ISC use in rugby league). We could do without the rear pinstripes, though.
Look, this is a perfectly decent and inoffensive shirt for a tiny but proud team who are getting a kicking from the gods of rugby right now. No, it’s not the nicest shirt we’ve seen… it’s a bit dated to be honest, but slating this feels like kicking a puppy in the face. A non-professional puppy at that.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: A sympathy ‘okay’