The North Queensland Cowboys 20th season since being admitted to what was then the ARL was a pretty memorable one to say the least. The men from Townsville won their first ever Premiership, defeating the Brisbane in the first all-Queensland Grand Final. The Cowboys will look to become the first back-to-back Premiers in the NRL’s history in 2016, and they’ll be doing it wearing some all-new ISC shirts…
Heritage is the name of the game for the Cowboys this year – a theme that’s rather apt given the historic events that they’re celebrating from their 2015 heroics.
Ditching the vaguely military chevron design of last season, the Cowboys have opted for ‘heritage’ stripes instead this time, that are reminiscent of the gold and yellow striped motif that adorned the club’s shirt in their first season in 1995.
It’s not that ‘heritage’, though – it’s a very modernistic take on the concept, with a half and half pinstripe-regular stripe motif across the grey bit, set against a flat blue as opposed to the club’s more traditional blue and white.
The alternate shirt is another departure – usually the Cowboys opt for a straight swap of the white and blue for their change design, but here oh-so fashionable grey has been used as the primary colour, with white replacing it on the stripes, and a blue top half.
So what gives? Well, apparently it’s a nod to the club song, C’mon The Cowboys, penned by Aussie country star Lee Kernaghan. In it, Kernaghan memorably speaks of the team’s colours as ‘blue and grey’ – so the club decided to make it a reality for 2016.
Definitely breaking far, far from the norm, however, is the club’s 2016 Indigenous jersey. We’ve looked at various indigenous designs over the years and they’re always an absolute feast for the eyes, design-wise, and this one’s no exception.
Designed by Aboriginal artist Mrs Phineasa, the inspiration here is from the Kulba Adithil (“old stories”) of myths and legends passed down through successive generations of tribal elders.
The hugely striking design is meant to reflect the way Aboriginal warriors would adorn themselves in ceremonial war paint and markings to strike fear into their rivals, while also acknowledging their clans and totems.
Last but not least (though our only image of it is dreadful, sorry) is the World Club Series 2016 shirt, which they’ll be wearing for their transcontinental showdown with Leeds Rhinos.
Much more of a traditional shirt for the Cowboys, this keeps things plain and simple, with the vintage grey stripes bisecting a blue and white jersey.
Is it a little bit old-fashioned compared to some of the Cowboys’ other shirts this year? Well yes, but on the back of their first ever Premiership, and their first chance to contest the World Club Series, it’s hugely appropriate.
Four very cool shirts then, for a club that’s rightly enjoying the finest moment in its history – will they be able to carry it on in 2016? Time will tell, but they’ll be looking good doing it…