The rugby world might be in the throes of World Cup fever right now, but it’s easy to forget that after the sport’s glorious global showpiece is over, we’ll have an entire domestic and European season to enjoy afterwards – what a time to be alive. Connacht are aiming to remind us that the latter isn’t too far away with the release of their latest shirt, which the Irish province will wear for their European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign. Let’s dive in…
BLK’s first foray into European rugby was with Connacht, and in the three seasons since they’ve continued to churn out interesting and unique designs for the Galway team, while firmly expanding and establishing themselves as one of the premiere rugby brands in the world today.
This season has seen the club strike a nice balance between bold and brash designs and something more restrained and classy, and this shirt absolutely typifies that. When we looked at the new Connacht away shirt a few months back, we noticed the lack of blue in the design, certainly compared to last year. Clearly, just as with last season’s Euro jersey, they were saving the blue for this.
We say blue, but if you’ve seen pictures of it and thought it looked more purple than blue, well you’re not alone. While it is primarily dark blue, there are curious little blooms of colour that blossom into a pinky-purpley hue. It’s cool, unique, and manages the difficult trick of looking strikingly modern without veering into ugly, tacky territory.
The main thing we love about this shirt however, is the green – an unusually bright shade for Connacht that’s almost lime – that edges the sleeves collars and the rather striking pinstripes that really elevate the design into something special. We’ve written a lot this season about how pinstripes and skinny stripes are THE fad for 15/16 in the rugby shirt world, but seriously, they really, really, really are… and we’re fine with that – they look great!
Whether you like their defiantly modern way of doing jerseys or not, you have to admit that BLK are continually doing interesting and innovative things that make their designs stand out from the pack. When they get it right, they get it really right, and this season they’re definitely on a roll.
Connacht will wear this shirt for the first time in their opening Challenge Cup fixture away in Siberia, yes that Siberia, against Russian new boys Yenisey-STM. Let’s hope the wolves don’t like pinstripes as much as we do…
SHIT/GOOD RATING: Good