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. But with all these reviews, we’ve still not answered the most important question – which shirt is the best? At Rugby Shirt Watch we never shy away from a challenge, so this week, we’re ranking 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.
Today we’re looking at 30-21, firmly in the middle of the pack – as usual, don’t take a lower ranking as a diss on your team’s shirt. As with any sporting event, not everyone can win, and this is a head-to-head deathmatch, but with rugby shirts, so we’ll show no mercy – let’s dive in.
With its curved pinstripes, this is actually kinda cool – it loses some points for the slightly dated multi-contrasting coloured panel design. It also sticks in our craw somewhat that the replica shirt is an almost unrecognisably different design, which short-changes the fans somewhat.
In truth, this is a really nice shirt, and we love the wings on the back, even if it is a bit dodgy footballer’s back tattoo. The reason it’s down this low then, is another disappointing trend from Adidas, in that this shirt is exactly the same as what France wore during the Six Nations.
A nice shirt this – the splash of red on the right-hand shoulder really pops against the white, but it’s just a simple palette swap of the home shirt, which we think is a fair bit nicer on the whole.
Strangely, despite the vitriolic reaction to the home shirt, the alternate seems to have been more well received, even though it’s a simple palette swap with the home shirt. We have to say the white does work a little better with the green.
We really like this shirt, and again the green and the white works really well together, but ASICS was rightly slated for the sheer similarity between the Wallaby and Springbok alternate shirts at this World Cup. It is a bit close, to be honest…
A straight palette swap with the home shirt, but one that’s a little more successful. Again, tasty pinstripes, and we like the way the blue accents the red, and thank Christ for an alternate shirt that isn’t white or black!
Like the alternate shirt, one of the plainest shirts in the whole tournament, but one that at least works a bit better and looks a bit less t-shirty in red. We like the collar and the fancy-dan maple leaf grip surface, too.
The Italy shirt is rather plain, but fairly inoffensive, the slightly nautical collar aside, but when you compare it to the beautiful shirt Italy wore in the Six Nations, it feels a little bit phoned in.
It’s rad that a country as small as Romania has a bespoke, unique shirt from BLK, and this has some cool touches – the Romanian flag coloured sleeve tips for example – though the Spirograph patterns on the body of the jersey aren’t for everyone.
Another France shirt that’s pretty much identical to the pre-tournament design, though this one at least had the flourish of the Jean-Pierre Rives motif around the badge. It’s still a really cool shirt, but it’s a little disappointing for Adidas to go to all the trouble of bringing out a new shirt and not really overhauling the design for the World Cup. After all, it’s the bloody World Cup!
There you have it! The the second 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 from 20 to 11!