Leinster Rugby 2016/17 Canterbury European Shirt

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Hot on the heels of their eye-catching new away kit, Leinster rugby have launched a new jersey that the three-times champions will be wearing for this season’s Champions Cup fixtures, and what a jersey it is, too… 

There are clear similarities here between the polarising neon yellow away shirt, and that’s entirely intentional on Canterbury’s part, as all three jerseys are designed to represent the three aspects of the brand’s Own The Blue campaign.

Own The Blue is quite a simple and clever idea, really – fans are often complaining that their team’s shirt is either too modern, or too retro, or somewhere in between so with this season’s trio of jerseys, fans are able to pick which vein of shirt best represents them.

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So, for those of a fairly modern bent, you have the clean, contemporary Leinster home shirt for those who are more in tune with a hyper-futuristic loud and proud style, you have the away shirt, and then for those of a more old-school sensibility, we have this European shirt.

Billed as “A classic. Remastered” by CCC, this shirt follows the away desing in drawing inspiration from the classic run of Leinster jerseys produced by Canterbury from around 1999 to 2005, most notably the 2004 shirts, and the iconic 1999/2000 jersey the province wore as they captured their first Celtic League crown.

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With the old-school blend of dark and light blue plus a very prominent gold element and the irregular stripes and hoops that made that ’99/00 shirt so legendary and memorable, this takes everything we liked about the away shirt, and removes almost anything anyone could object to.

When you factor in that this shirt also follows that away shirt in sporting a proper, honest-to goodness fold-over collar… well, you already know what’s coming at the bottom of this review, don’t you?

Canterbury have time and again demonstrated that they’re masters of evoking retro sensibilities in their rugby shirts, but this might be one of their finest efforts yet. And that’s because this  some slavish retro reproduction or a po-faced reworking of the ultra-plain traditional fare worn in the amateur days – anyone can do that, really.

No, this is exactly what it says on the tin – a thoroughly modern remaster of a classic shirt design, that feels as contemporary as it does nostalgic, and there aren’t many brands that can pull that off.

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