After years in the doldrums, the Lions surprised pretty much everyone last season by not only being respectable for the first time since their return from ‘relegation’ in 2014, but making it all the way to the Super Rugby final.
This year, Canterbury has opted for a much more restrained jersey for the reigning South African conference champions, and that’s perhaps very fitting for a team with newly raised expectations.
With no Johannesburg skyline motif this year, instead we have a plain red jersey, with a slight tonal contrast between the sleeves and the body of the shirt, and a subtle thin chevron pattern across the chest.
It’s a motif that’s actually very similar to the alternate design England wore at the 2015 World Cup, and the on-field version uses the same 360° Loop neckline to give it an even more familiar feel.
Annoyingly, as has been the case with all replica jerseys produced by Canterbury South Africa this year, they’ve opted to not include that on this jersey – it’s not as noticeable as it was on the Cheetahs shirt, for example, but it’s still a shame.
On the whole though, this is a classy, understated design that doesn’t shout – a shirt that’s fit for a team with real title ambitions.