The Waratahs and Canterbury have one of the closest and longest associations in Super Rugby – asides from a three-season blip between 2007 and 2010, CCC has outfitted the men from New South Wales since the earliest days of Super 6 rugby, and this year we have another new pair of jerseys to cast our eyes over.
Since the Waratahs returned to Canterbury in 2010, the general theme has been a gradual evolution from a very classic, very plain design to something that’s a lot more modern, and this year’s shirt represents the latest step in that process.
Building on last year’s striking ‘fading diamond’ pattern design, this year’s home shirt takes a similar approach but swaps those diamonds for a very modern, very striking square grid pattern – it’s a bit like a really shit Tetris player.
Unlike last year’s shirt, the pattern isn’t just at the bottom of the shirt, but the top as well, and it all serves to give it a nice balance – symmetrically asymmetrical, if you know what we mean…
Things get even more striking around the back, where we have the haphazard Tetris pattern around the shoulders, and a striking large Waratahs logo on that takes up most of the bottom third of the design.
The same dark blue sleeves and shoulder yoke is similar to last year, but instead of a narrow 360º Loop neckline, we have a more classic Canterbury collar and a larger raglan-style shoulder panel.
If the home shirt has gradually evolved over the last seven years, the Waratahs away jerseys have been a great deal more varied and unconventional – and this year’s is no different.
The biggest difference between this and other Waratahs change shirts is of course the colour used. It’s rare to see red being used in such prominent fashion in a NSW jersey – especially given their rivalry with Queensland – but the Waratah flower on the Tahs logo is red of course, so it’s not totally out of the realms of normality.
Other than the red, it’s all pretty similar to the home shirt but in white, complete with the Tetris motif – though we do like the occasional red block thrown in there to give it all a bit more coherency.
It’s not the easiest to see in our images, but both shirts also feature an embossed Waratah motif across the chest – something that’s been a feature of Tahs jerseys since 2015.
Plenty of Waratahs fans aren’t too keen on the club abandoning a decade or so of jersey conservatism for the more radical, more overtly unconventional shirts that we’ve seen in the last two seasons, but we don’t agree.
Yes, these shirts aren’t that traditional, but they’re hardly batshit insane either – they’re classy, original and striking designs, that feel like the concept has been brought bang up to date.