We’ve spent the last few days looking at the stunning new Special Edition tour jerseys that the New Zealand teams are going to be wearing against the Lions this summer, but Adidas also said that the shirts would be worn at special times during the Super Rugby season, and we got our first glimpse this past weekend.
As seems fairly fitting given that these ‘territory’ designs are all about defending your patch, the first two all-New Zealand derbies since the launch gave us our first glimpse of the Special Edition jerseys for the Crusaders, Blues, Chiefs, and the subject of this review, the Highlanders.
As you’ll no doubt be aware by now, each of these Special Edition shirts features a distressed map of the territory that the highlanders represent, with different areas picked out in yellow, to complement the stripes and the team crest.
As with all five of the designs, there are little twists on the general theme here that adds a sense of uniqueness to the Highlanders design. Case in point, the sleeve cuffs (once again sporting the geographical coordinates of their home ground, in this case, Dunedin) are a nice maroon, contrasting the rest of the shirt with their rather handsome third colour.
But there’s more – in addition to the map design being more of a tonal thing than most of the other Special Edition jerseys, Adidas has also opted to represent the territories of the provincial rugby unions that feed up to the Highlanders in a more unique way, too
Rather than just option for a flat colour or something of that ilk, the areas of the North Otago, Otago and Southland Rugby Unions has been given a hatched, tartan-esque effect, which I’m sure we can all agree is suitably appropriate given that the Highlanders crest sports a tartan-clad warrior on it.
This is probably the most subtle and understated of all the Tour edition jerseys that Adidas has produced, but it’s one of those designs that really rewards closer inspection.
In addition to the subtlety of the map design that becomes more apparent up close, it’s also sporting some nice little touches that underline the Highlanders vibe, creating yet another super cool, super modern jersey.