In the last few years, a prevailing undercurrent of the Six Nations period has been the bubbling debate about whether Georgia should make the step up to the big time as Italy did 17 years ago… and while we can’t speak for that, we can say that they’re definitely making a case for it in the shirt stakes…
Following a three-year deal with Under Armour, the Lelos have recently signed a deal with Canterbury, and the UK-based firm has made some huge, fundamental changes to the Georgia rugby recipe – and it’s all for the better, we have to say.
So, whereas Georgia’s traditional colours have been black with bright red trim, this new jersey is a deep, dark red with gold trim. That’s quite a change, but one that isn’t without justification.
The dark red could also be described as a wine red, and that’s not by accident. The jersey’s new colours are designed to pay homage to one of the strongest expressions of Georgia’s national identity – wine making.
The fertile valleys of the South Caucasus house the source of the world’s first cultivated grapevines and neolithic wine production dating back over 8,000 years, and wine has been a key part of Georgia’s economy and culture.
There’s a lot to be said for clean, classy simplicity, and this shirt is a perfect example of that. While the stunning mix of dark red and gold trim has been seen before with Canterbury’s Queensland shirts, there’s no denying that it’s an absolutely gorgeous combination, and as a break from the usual it feels bold and innovative, too.