The last few seasons have been something of a struggle for Leicester Tigers – at least by their ridiculously high standards. It’s now three years since England’s most decorated club has reached a Premiership final – their longest spell since the playoff format was introduced over two decades ago. But there were real signs of progress last season, not least making the Champions Cup semi-final, and they’ll be looking to kick on again this year.
If Tigers looked to be making progress on the field last season, it was in spite of their home shirt. In the club’s first year with Kooga, the UK brand took the odd decision to rip up Leicester’s iconic colours and produce a predominantly white jersey that was well… let’s be honest we hated it.
This year Kooga has sensibly and happily seen the error of their ways and after many seasons of the club trying to mess around with pinstripes, tiger stripes and who knows what else, they’ve returned to the traditional green shirt, with thin white and red hoops.
While the green is never likely to return to the classic shade worn in the club’s Martin Johnson heyday they abandoned in the early 2000s, other than that, well, you have to say that there’s pretty much nothing for the Tigers fan to complain about. It’s about as classic a Tigers shirt as the club has had since the Cotton Traders days, and will surely be a massive crowd pleaser.
The collar is slightly tweaked from last season – again it’s a half-raised design, but it looks slightly lower in profile this year, which is an improvement in our opinion, continuing the theme of a shirt that’s better than last year’s in almost every possible way.
If the home shirt is as traditional as it gets, the away shirt is er, well… not even a tiny bit that. After last season’s rather lovely understated black and grey hooped design, this season is loud and proud, embracing the neon jersey trend in rather emphatic style.
Yellow isn’t exactly a traditional Tigers colour, but we have to say that it works really well here – neon colours look great when paired with a darker one, and the contrast between it and the black here is a very striking one.
We also love the attention to detail here – the two pinstripes are a subtle nod to the classic Leicester ‘thick-thin-thin’ hoops pattern, and while it doesn’t exactly fit in with the rest of the design, with think the pinstriped green, red and white underneath the yellow hoop of the sleeve is a lovely, subtle little nod.
Last year’s Tigers home shirt would probably go on our wall of shame, if we had such a thing, as one of our all-time ‘what were you thinking?!’ designs. This year’s design totally redeems Kooga in our eyes, with a home shirt that does a great job of melding the classic and the modern, while the change shirt keeps things as modern as can be, in a good way.