After checking out and really digging the cool, vintage-style simplicity of the new Argentina Rugby World Cup 2015 home shirt last week, can Nike repeat the trick with the alternate version? Well… whether we dig it or not, the last thing you’d say about this jersey is that it’s vintage. Let’s crack on…
Dark blue has been the alternate colour of choice for Los Pumas for some time now, and while Nike has kept the same diagonal-striped home shirt since they took over the Argentina contract in 2012, they’ve had a few alternate designs, and they’ve all been dark, brooding, unabashedly modern affairs, such as last season’s really cool ’70s Prog Album Cover’ design.
The secondary colour here is perhaps the most striking departure from previous designs – rather than white or gold, here we have a brilliant light blue – initially we wondered if it was the same shade as the home shirt’s blue, but it actually seems a bit more electric than that.
We’ve seen Nike use almost neon colours before in shirts – last season’s Saracens kits for example – but here it’s been used much more widely… which is awesome. It compliments the dark blue so well, and gives the design an instant ultra-modern vibe.
We noted in the home shirt review that the checkerboard grip material was done in a very subtle, restrained kinda way, and that was cool, but here either because of the light or the production process, or just the fact that it’s on a much darker colour, but there’s no doubt it’s a lot more noticeable.
That’s no bad thing though – it kinda gives the top half of the shirt a subtle-hooped vibe, and y’all know that we love us some subtle hoops here at Rugby Shirt Watch.
So far so brooding, sleek, moody… right? Well, while we’d be totally fine with this being a beautiful but po-faced design – but the good folk at Nike know that we secretly love a bit of crazy in our alternate shirt designs… that’s what they’re for! Yup, as your eyes move down the jersey, you’ll no doubt, ahem, spot what we’re referring to here…
Yup, after a hiatus last season, the puma print we loved so much from the 2013 away shirt has made a triumphant return, bursting forth, quite literally, from the bottom of the shirt as if trying to take over this staid, sensibly, sleek jersey with a bit of animal-hide lunacy. It’s so silly, so incongruous, but we can’t help but like it.
Argentina have had pretty resounding success with their alternate shirts since Nike took on their contract – it’s hard to make a bad looking dark blue shirt for starters, but they’ve not been shy of trying some pretty crazy things with it, and they’ve always come off, too.
At first glance, this year’s effort could seem a little safe, handsome and stylish, but safe. Look closer, however, and you’ll see that Nike doesn’t do safe – it does classy, it does modern, and it does mental. This Pumas World Cup alternate shirt is somehow all three.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD