Over the last few months we’ve brought you reviews of every single Rugby World Cup shirt we could get our hands on – if there was a picture of it, you’ll find a review for it on Rugby Shirt Watch. They’ve been bold, they’ve been brash, they’ve been beautiful and they’ve been… er… not… but as we enter the fever pitch of World Cup kickoff week, there’s one question that remains to be answered – which shirt is the best? At Rugby Shirt Watch we never shy away from a challenge, so over the next four days, we’ll rank every single shirt on show at this World Cup – 40 shirts in all – from worst to best, until we reach the fabled number one: the best shirt of Rugby World Cup 2015.

Not ranking highly on our countdown doesn’t mean a shirt is bad, by the way – it’s just not as good as some of the others, and trust us when we say that there have been a lot of really lovely shirts on show at this World Cup. But, where’s the fun in everyone being equal? It’s time we sorted this out once and for all – let’s get stuck in…

40 Uruguay Alternate


You might say this is harsh, but when you don’t even turn up for a race, you tend to end up finishing last (yes, technically you’d be unclassified, but shut up, go with it…). And so it is with the Uruguay alternate shirt – we took a look at the home shirt ages ago, and yet with a mere four days to go before the start of the tournament, we’ve yet to see hide nor hair of the change shirt. One must exist, tournament rules say so, but we’ve been unable to find a single image of it – until such a time as we see otherwise, it’s automatically in last place.

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Mauricio for digging out this photo of the alternate shirt, and uh… oh… it’s a bit shit. Never mind, as you were!

39 New Zealand Alternate


This shirt places low, not because it’s a bad design, it’s not, in fact we rather like it, but it’s more a mark down for overall effort. The All Blacks will wear their pre-tournament change shirt with requisite RWC patch on the right breast at the tournament, but so unenthused are they by that notion, they haven’t even released a picture! We get the ‘All Blacks’ thing, guys, but do us rugby shirt websites a favour, eh?

38 Georgia Home


Georgia are a small nation, we get that, but as if fobbing them off with a two-year-old template isn’t disappointing enough, it’s unfortunate that Under Armour’s templates also date rather badly. The T-bar on the front looks like a bra, and it’s all generally a bit phoned-in and uninspiring.

37 Uruguay Home


Two in the bottom 10 for the Uruguayans, and given the pool their in at the World Cup, they might want to get used to coming last… There’s nothing terrible about this shirt, it’s just a bit dated, but it’s also totally and utterly forgettable, which is the last thing you want as a RWC minnow.

36 Ireland Alternate


Canterbury are generally Halfpenny-esque (sniff, always in our hearts, Leigh) when it comes to shirt designs – metronomically good. This one definitely drifts wide of the posts, however – the black body with the green 360° Loop neckline just looks a bit weird, and more like a training shirt than an on-field jersey.

35 Georgia Alternate

While we prefer this slightly over the home design, purely on the basis of red and white looking a bit better than the black and red, and making the ol’ bra thing a bit less obvious, it’s still a two-year-old design being dragged back into service. Like Nick Easter, there’s nothing wrong with it, but deep down, you know its best days are in the past…

34 Italy Alternate

Italy 2015 RWC alternate kit

Another lesser-spotted Adidas shirt. To our knowledge this is the only image in existence of Italy change shirt (the guys over at Planet Rugby literally had to photoshop a player out to create it!), and so that automatically gets marked down for that. It’s actually quite a tidy design, but in the vein of the home shirt (more on that later), it’s almost too plain, and the weird striped collar is a definite step down from the lovely pre-RWC effort.

33 Australia Home


Without a doubt one of the most controversial shirts of the tournament. When it was released, the reaction in Australia was nothing short of vitriolic, as the media and fans piled in on the green shoulder pad thingy. In truth, we quite like it, especially in the flesh, but it’s not a classic, and those ‘zombie fingers’ grip surfaces on the ribs just look weird.

32 Canada Alternate


Perhaps the plainest shirt of the World Cup, Canada’s alternate shirt is just unbelievably boring. It’s not bad, aesthetically… but Christ it’s a little underwhelming, isn’t it? Especially when you consider the proud history of Canada wearing marvellously fugly alternate shirts at the RWC. Yawn.

31 USA Alternate


Yes, this shirt is gloriously, wonderfully bonkers – take note, Canada – with it’s myriad stripes, stars and hell there’s probably a bald eagle and some apple pie in there somewhere, but while we really love this shirt, it’s a bit of a mess, too. Make this shirt 10 per cent less ‘Murica, and you have a universally lovely thing – as it is, it’s not quite up to the standards of other shirts on show.

There you have it! The first 10 entries in our massive World Cup Shirt Countdown! Don’t agree? Tell us in the comments below, or shout at us on Twitter or Facebook, and be sure to check back tomorrow when we’ll be running down the next 10 shirts!  

Read The Great Rugby World Cup Shirt Countdown: 30-21
Read The Great Rugby World Cup Shirt Countdown: 20-11

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8 thoughts on “The Great Rugby World Cup 2015 Shirt Countdown: 40-31

  1. My top 5 Rugby World Cup jerseys would be from 1 to 5 . 5 being the worst would be as follows

    1 Scotland alternate
    2 Wales alternative
    3 Italy home
    4 Uruguay home
    5 U.S.A home.

    my 5 worst would be from 1 to 5 . 1 being the worst ofender would be as follows

    1 Australia home
    2 Ireland alternative
    3 England alternate
    4 Georgia alternative
    5 new Zealand Home.

    Just my view but what do you think ?.

    1. Always keen to hear someone’s take Albert – we disagree on quite a few of those, clearly, but shirts are very subjective things! Stay tuned to see what we thought of the other 30 shirts later this week!

      1. Overall I would have to say I have been very
        disappointed buy the standard of Rugby World Cup 2015 jerseys but as you say it is a very subjective
        thing jersey design. Lets just hope we never get to the point in Rugby that football finds it’s self in whare most Jerseys are templates I can see Signs that this is creeping in to Rugby aswell will costs go up.

  2. Georgia is definitely awful but the Uruguay one should not be that low. Australia and SA are too close for comfort, so they should probably lose points for that…. I agree with the comment that I am underwhelmed the jerseys for this World Cup.

  3. I wouldn’t have that US jersey included in THAT group, I’d have something like the Romania jersey rated below that. Also according to multiple posts here in NZ, the All Blacks don’t see a situation in which they would even require the alternate strip, hence no photos or availability in stores here.


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