On the back of their impressive performance in the Rugby World Cup, Los Pumas head into the Rugby Championship with a new optimism, and now that the Jaguares have joined Super Rugby, they’ll be hoping that they can use that familiarity to do big things against their Southern Hemisphere rivals. They’ll looking to do these big things in a pair of brand new jerseys from Nike.
Launching a pair of new shirts after three games of an international season is a bit of an odd one, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the UAR and the Pumas in recent seasons, is that they do things their own way!
The home shirt itself is on the surface very similar to the design they were wearing as recently as last month’s tests against France and Italy – it keeps that same gorgeous, classic blue and white hooped design, complete with checkerboard grip material, but there are some changes.
For starters, the large white side panels that broke up the hoops of last year’s home shirt have gone, giving the basic design more of a retro vibe, but on closer inspection, you’ll notice an interesting curved pinstripe motif that emanates from the bottom of the jersey up through the blue hoops.
This theme is continued on the alternate jersey, which is once again dark blue – a theme that has been a constant throughout Nike’s tenure with Los Pumas – and keeps the lighter-to-darker fade of the World Cup change shirt, but dispenses with the rather Marmite puma spots.
In its place, we have the same curved pinstripes, given much more prominence here as they run all the way up the front of the jersey and even on to the sleeves. It’s sleek, understated, and like most Nike designs, extremely modern.
Speaking of modern, we’re a little disappointed to see Nike ditch the stunning electric blue colourway for the badge and sponsor logo that we saw on the World Cup alternate shirt – that looked awesome, and while there’s nothing wrong with the classic UAR badge, we miss the old way!
The other thing we’re not 100% sold on is the new collar. There’s nothing wrong with the low-profile insert design of course, but again, we always liked the ring-neck of shirts past – so few makers go for that classic style, it added a bit of uniqueness to Nike’s jerseys, though we know a few people grumbled that this made the shirts look a bit too football-y (and they were WRONG).
With Saracens switching to BLK this season, Argentina is now the final global bastion of Nike’s rugby union interest. That’s a crying shame, as we’ve said on more than one occasion, but between the Pumas and the Jaguares, there’s still plenty of chance for the company’s designers to show us why they’re still some of the best in the business.