The Lions tour this summer is about more than just the test series against the All Blacks – the mid-week games against the Super Rugby teams and the Maori are historic and significant in their own way – and they’re occasions that deserve marking.
As you’ll probably know by now, Adidas has decided to honour this once-in-a-generation occasion by giving the five New Zealand teams special edition jerseys that they’ll be wearing in these midweek games.
Adidas really pushed the boat out with its hyper-modern jersey designs for the New Zealand Super Rugby teams last season, but the Chiefs have been embracing the super-detailed jersey concept for some time.
With that in mind, compared to the incredibly intricate designs the Chiefs have been wearing for the last season, this Tour jersey is actually a bit more restrained in some ways!
So we have the same distressed map of the Chiefs region as seen on the other jerseys, but whereas the other teams have used just the one colour, the Waikato side have opted to make use of their trademark yellow and red.
So, the main body of the map is red, while the territories of the provincial unions that feed up to the Chiefs – namely Bay of Plenty, Counties Manukau, King Country, Thames Valley, Taranaki and Waikato. Interestingly, unlike the other jerseys, the map has a fade to the pattern, making it look more in keeping with the normal black of the Chiefs home shirt.
As with the Chiefs home shirt, we have contrasting red and yellow shoulder stripes, and this is echoed in the sleeve cuffs on either side. As with the other shirts, the geographical coordinates of the city that the Lions game will take place – in this Hamilton – is written on the left sleeve.
There are obvious key similarities between all these Tour jerseys, but the Chiefs treatment reminds us again how different colour treatments can make for a really different feel to a design.