The term ‘All American’ is a common one throughout high school and college sport in the USA. In sports such as American football or basketball for example, hypothetical ‘All American’ teams are picked by media outlets and governing bodies to identify the best players at their positions from across the country. Rugby does things a bit differently however – USA Rugby All American teams aren’t just hypothetical: they actually play.
In reality, the ‘All American’ tag is one given to the USA’s age grade representative sides (the U18s and U20s) in the same way that the New Zealand U20s are referred to as the ‘Baby Blacks’ . But unlike most age grade teams, BLK has designed a bespoke All American jersey, and it’s quite a thing.
The All American home shirt is an interesting fusion of several different design themes that we’ve seen from BLK in their two years working with USA Rugby. So, for example we have the star motif across the shoulders that we saw on the Sevens shirt from last year.
So, not only do we get a thick red, white, ride trio of stripes around the waist of the jersey, we also get the same pattern on the right sleeve.
Going unbalanced like that can be a big risk when trying to design a jersey that feels classic as well as bold, but this hits all the right notes for us.
If the home shirt is nice, the alternate kicks things up to an even higher gear, proving once again that the USA just look right in white.
The stripes are blue and red here, while the stars have been given a tonal treatment, making the whole thing feel a lot more retro and vintage – this is no doubt in part to the way the classic All American shield pops out much more from this design.
History fans will know of course, that the legendary 1924 USA Olympic team wore the All American shield on their way to winning the gold medal.
The All American concept is more than just a nickname for age-grade teams – in a nod to the popularity and quality of college rugby in America, a U23 All American college team is also picked and tours independently of any age-grade tournament, and it’s this uniqueness that makes us glad BLK has created a bespoke jersey for them.
There’s something nostalgic about the All American concept, and so it’s fitting these jerseys mix the old with the new so effectively.