The game of sevens is on a real high at the moment after the huge success of its introduction to the Olympics last summer. One of the surprises of the mens’ tournament was Team GB winning a silver medal, and hot off the back of supplying the backbone of the Rio squad, England return to the World Sevens Series with their first new jerseys since 2014.
If feels like a while since England were challenging the hegemony of New Zealand, South Africa and Fiji at the top of the World Rugby Sevens tree, but they’ll be looking to do that in 2016/17 wearing a pair of new shirts from Canterbury that certainly stand out from the crowd.
England have always got what a sevens shirt should be – after all, the legendary ‘Tequila Sunrise‘ jersey was one of the first short-form shirts to really make headlines in a wider sense, and Canterbury carried that on with their batshit geometric design when they took over in 2012.
After a few years of the relatively demure by comparison cross-tastic previous versions then, this is quite the culture shock – but in a very good way. Light grey has been used as a secondary colour for England Sevens for a while now, but this time Canterbury has gone one further by swapping traditional red for striking bright orange in a hugely eye-catching design.
The basic design of both home and alternate shirts is identical, with the base white front of the jersey dominated by a striking ‘turbine’ motif that weaves its way across the front of both shirts in shades of orange and grey on the home, and straight grey on the alternate.
Apparently, this eye-grabbing design is designed to reflect agility and speed, and the “dynamic movement which is unique to sevens rugby” – so now you know. Whether that’s true is in the eye of the beholder of course, but we think it looks very cool.
The alternate shirt is a colour Canterbury calls ‘phantom’ – it’s a very dark, almost black shade of grey, and both designs are accented by orange piping on both front and back of the 360º Loop neckline, and rather controversially, we also have an orange St George’s Cross between the shoulder blades.
England pretty much started the bonkers sevens shirts trend back in the day with their neon-striped 2012 designs, so it’s nice to see them coming right back to the fore with a pair of very, very different jerseys from Canterbury. No, they’re not your daddy’s England shirts, but that’s very much the point – and they’re all the better for it.