Over the last month or so, we’ve been working our way through the various new teams playing in the inaugural PRO Rugby tournament in the USA. It’s fitting then that we’re rounding out our run-down by checking out the shirts of the PRO Rugby team that was established first – Sacramento. Or more accurately, Sacramento Express…
Yes, since we started reviewing the PRO Rugby shirts, the public nominations for permanent team names was completed, and the winners were then voted on, leaving us with the Ohio Aviators, Denver Stampede, San Francisco Rush, San Diego Breakers and of course, the Sacramento Express.
Of all the new names, we’re the most meh about Sacramento – as the state capital of California and a historic travel hub, we understand the choice of name (Sacramento was the western end of the famous Pony Express, postal history fans), but it’s a little bit bland.
Still, given that one of the other options was ‘Steamers’, maybe we should all be thanking that the Sacramento fans leaned towards the unexciting option…
But enough about the names, we’re here for the shirts, and once again Champion System has created a design that’s a little out of the ordinary, while still feeling very cool and classy.
In a similar vein to the Ohio Aviators shirts, this is the design that is perhaps most informed by Champion System’s background in cycling apparel – the bold horizontal band across the middle looks almost more like something you’d expect to see on a road race, but of course, this is far from a cycling jersey.
It also looks really cool – it frames the soon-to-be-discarded wordmark that runs across the chest rather well, and we like the way the band carries on across the sleeves in similar style.
As with all the PRO Rugby team, the Express’s colour scheme is a hat-tip to the area’s local sporting scene, and while Sacramento isn’t spoiled for top flight sports teams, in this case the green, gold and white of the Sacramento State Hornets.
It’s a great combo, and looks very different, even though the association is perhaps not one that many outsiders would draw. Honouring Sacramento’s most prestigious pro team, the Sacramento Kings would have been more expected, but perhaps the Denver Stampede had already bagsied purple and black?
A brand new league, brand new teams and a brand new kit supplier was always going to create a few interesting options in PRO Rugby’s first season, and so it’s proved to be. Sacramento’s shirts are definitely one of the highlights, however, and we’re really looking forward to seeing how the Express, and all the other freshly named teams, develop their visual identity next season.