The Ospreys might have had a frustrating 2015 season, where injuries and international call-ups saw them slump to their worst league finish ever, but one thing never changes – the Ospreys jersey is one of the biggest deals in European rugby.
The Ospreys home jersey has been one of the region’s big success stories in its 13-year history – it’s consistently been hailed as the second biggest-selling jersey in the UK and Ireland, and a large part of that has been its history of being bold, modern and unconventional.
With that in mind, Aussie upstarts BLK were always an ideal partners to take the Ospreys jersey to greater heights, and since 2014, the brand has been producing some of the most interesting and downright gorgeous designs the team has enjoyed.
Last year’s Ospreys home jersey was a sleekly stunning design, and one of the most downright lovely shirts of any team in the world – we’re picky about what jerseys we buy here at RSW, but that thing went right onto our shopping list. With that in mind, BLK have a serious job to raise the bar this time around – they couldn’t could they?
Well… we think the proof is plain to see. Not only have BLK created a stunning, eye-catching shirt (no mean feat given that it’s really hard to make a plain black shirt look exciting full stop), but we think they’ve actually surpassed last year’s design.
The most instantly striking aspect of the shirt is of course the trim – it’s an Ospreys tradition to incorporate a different secondary colour this season, but this year BLK has opted for an ultra-modern, ultra unusual green-blue fade… it kinda reminds us of the sort of cocktail you drink in pitchers to kick off a truly ruinous night out – and we mean that in the best possible way, it’s rad.
But there’s a lot more going on here than just a plain black shirt with some funky cocktail bits, oh yes. One of the biggest features of BLK’s recent Ospreys designs has been their use of the region’s crest – while the ‘mask’ symbol was very controversial when the original Neath/Swansea hybrid badge was ditched in 2007, but it’s become a strong, instantly recognisable part of the Ospreys brand.
This season’s home shirt subtly incorporate two familiar motifs that we’ve seen on previous designs – firstly a large, hatched tonal mask across the chest, reminiscent of last season’s European shirt, which is set into an intricate tiny mask pattern that runs down the front of the shirt, a la last season’s away shirt.
All put together, it’s another design by BLK that hits all of the right notes in creating a jersey that’s both sleek and classy, while remaining true to the Ospreys’ heritage of bold colours, and fearlessly modern design. If last season’s home shirt went right onto our wishlist, this year’s one has us reaching for the credit card without delay.