The Scarlets had some mixed fortunes in the 2014/15 season – despite again losing key players to the lure of the Euro, they managed a respectable sixth in the Pro12 and managed to spring a few surprises in an impossibly tough Champions Cup pool, but ultimately they failed to kick on from a very promising 2013/14 season.
But a new season brings new optimism, and far more importantly than that – new kits! It’s the Llanelli region’s second season back with Kooga after a few years with Burrda, and from the outset you can say that at least they got the colour right, which is not guaranteed at the moment…
In fact, compared to last year’s shirt, it definitely does look a little more scarlet, which is kind of important given the team name, let’s face it. You can never be sure until you see it in the flesh, as studio lighting can do weird things with colours.
In truth, this shirt has a lot of similarities to last season’s design. The dark red (or is that oxblood? Ahem) accents that ran down the back of the jersey last year seem to have been moved to a much more prominent position this time, although with the white accents diminished.
In truth, we don’t really know what these are supposed to represent – the colour indicates that it’s probably something to do with the Scarlets’ dragon badge – and we reckon they could well be flames.
The flames idea is backed up by the Welsh phrase stitched into the collar – ‘Tanio’r Angerdd’ – which roughly translated means ‘ignite the passion’.
Compared with the other Kooga jerseys we’ve seen this season, this is quite a different design – significantly less clean and simple than for example, the Leicester away shirt.
Instead we get the flame motif, which is perfectly nice, but does perhaps feel a little bit dated – those busy motifs around the ribs always remind us of the early 2000s rugby shirts that were all panels and colours, with very little thought about what looked nice.
This is still a tidy enough jersey, however – we like the return to a white collar, as it feels more like a classic Scarlets shirt that way, though we’d have liked to see a return to the dark blue collar they wore for a few years back in the 90s. Next year?
Is this a classic, though? Well… no, not really. While there’s nothing wrong with the design, we can’t help but feel like the flame motif is a little busy, and it’s going to date quite badly.
For now though, it’s perfectly fine – not particularly good, but not shit either – we’d like to see the Scarlets go for a more clean and retro approach next year, however.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: Good… just about.