In the 20 seasons that Super Rugby has now officially played, the Brumbies have been an ever-present, and the men from Canberra have also sported one of the most consistent and un-messed-with jersey designs in that time – but that’s all changed for 2016. Big time.
The classic Brumbies look – a jersey with white body and blue top, divided by three gold stripes – has been remarkably consistent since the team’s early days. Over two decades and a variety of suppliers, that look has remained generally unchanged – until now…
Yes, for 2016 the Brumbies and supplier Classic Sportswear have opted to tear up the rulebook and opt for the most unconventional shirt in the team’s history – totally doing away with the white body of the shirt and keeping things flat dark blue and gold.
It’s not a look that’s going to please the traditionalists of course, but from an objective point of view, it’s hard not to appreciate what’s a very nice shirt. The dark blue looks great and is accented nicely by the gold panels under the sleeves, and the trip around the collar, sleeves and bottom of the shirt.
We also really like the sublimated diagonal stripes that run down the body of the design. Firstly, they look good – we do love us some stripes – but also they’re a nice little nod to the club’s history and the old Brumbies jersey.
Yup, look closer and you’ll notice that each of those diagonal stripes is made up of three smaller stripes of differing thickness, just like the gold stripes that emblazoned the front of the Brumbies jersey for 20 years.
The away shirt is a simple palette-swap of the home design, continuing the use of a gold change shirt that’s been a feature since Classic took on the Brumbies contract back in 2014.
It looks perfectly good, and is a nice compliment to the home design of course – but we can’t help but wish they’d done something a little different. Given that it has been totally removed from the home design, might a return to a white change strip have worked well, and kept the three Brumbies colours alive in the designs?
But then why stop there? While we really do like the Brumbies new look, part of us sighed because yes, yet another Aussie Super Rugby franchise would now be wearing primarily blue as their home strip.
That’s three out of five, if you’re keeping score – and that doesn’t include the Rebels, who switched from a plain dark blue primary to a blue, grey and white hooped number last year – which just seems a bit silly.
It’s not just an Australian problem either – we examined every single team in the four top domestic leagues in the world (Super Rugby, Premiership, Top14 and Pro12) and discovered that a frankly ridiculous 28% of teams use blue as their primary colour – and that’s without taking into account all the teams that use blue as part of hooped and striped designs…
If the Brumbies wanted to really shake things up, why not pick a colour that wasn’t blue to be their new primary shade – plain white, or even gold? Dark blue, as nice as it is, just feels a bit safe.
And while we can’t blame the team for playing it safe with what’s bound to be a controversial new look, it does make the Brumbies of 2016 feel a little less unique than they have been before, and that’s a shame.