Does A Great Rugby Shirt Make You Play Better?

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Look good, feel good… play good? We all know that when we’re looking sharp, we walk with a bit more confidence, there’s a swagger in our step, we feel like we could take on the world… but does the same apply to rugby players? Rugby shirt watch decided to investigate…

Now before we get started – yes, we know that in theory the notion that a team might play better because of the shirt they’re wearing is patently ridiculous, right? Well don’t be so hasty – it’s a well-worn trope that sportsmen are nothing if not superstitious creatures, so if they think they play better if they do a certain pre-match ritual or wear a lucky pair of boxers, why wouldn’t they play with more confidence and as a result play better, if they think they look good?

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Our methodology here is very simple. For the 2016/17 Northern Hemisphere season, we’ve awarded nine shirts our coveted Gold Award, two of them are European jerseys, and so we’re left with seven candidates from three different leagues – two from the Aviva Premiership, two from the Pro 12 and three from the Top 14.

So, in a vaguely scientific way, we’ve looked at each Gold Award-winning team’s performance wearing the shirt in question so far this season and asked the question – are they winning more games in that shirt?

Team

Matches won in shirt Matches lost in shirt

Harlequins

3 0

Northampton Saints

1

2

Ospreys

3 1

Connacht

2

2

Toulouse

4

 1
Stade Francais 4*

1

Montpellier 4

1

(*Plus one draw vs Clermont)

Well, as you can see from the table above, the results are a little inconclusive, but they’re generally trending towards backing up our theory. Most of the teams on our list have won more games than they’ve lost in their Gold Award-winning shirts, and only two teams – Connacht and Northampton Saints – have lost more than one game so far while wearing their best duds.

Of course, things could be skewing a little due to the fact that all of the shirts we’ve awarded Gold Awards to this season have coincidentally turned out to be home designs – most teams play better at home than away of course, but it’s worth noting Montpellier in all this.

Continued below…

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The French giants have two wins away from home so far this season, both of which were earned wearing their primary jersey – the two they’ve played in their away shirt, they’ve both lost. Equally, look at Quins – unbeaten in their utterly stunning home shirt, but they’ve not come close to winning a game in their less nice away. Coincidence?

Well, yes… probably! But looking at the results of our vaguely scientific investigation, it’s clear that it’s not as crazy as it might have initially seemed, and it does appear that teams rocking a truly on point shirt might get a little performance boost from it…

Feel like putting your money behind our theory? Find rugby union betting opportunities at William Hill.

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