Last month, USA Rugby announced an abrupt end of their deal with troubled Australian supplier BLK sport, and the signing of a multi-year deal with Adidas that would begin with immediate effect, and these are the first results.
Creating a new rugby jersey is a hugely time consuming and involved process – the jerseys that you see your teams revealing have probably been in the works for over 18 months or more.
With that in mind, it should perhaps come as no surprise that these first Eagles shirts from Adidas are very simple and a touch generic – certainly compared to the very unique shirts they were getting from BLK.
One thing that is notable, however, is the change back to a white primary jersey – BLK had been favouring dark blue as the main colour throughout its tenure, but this classic white jersey with dark blue sleeves and red collar feels suitably classic.
The alternate jersey is unsurprisingly a simple palette swap with the home shirt, with the dark blue returned to its traditional home in the change shirt.
The sleeves here are red – notably a darker and deeper shade of red than has perhaps been traditional, with a white collar. It’s very smart, and probably the pick of the two – perhaps that’s why the Eagles have been favouring blue as a primary colour recently?
If these shirts feel a bit unremarkable, we have to consider the time-frame that they were created it. BLK’s problems were first reported in December last year, so at the most Adidas had six months to turn these jerseys around – probably a lot less.
When you factor in manufacturing the shirts and all that jazz, there simply wasn’t time for Adidas to create something more ambitious than what we have here – they’re still very nice, very clean, very classy designs, but we look forward to seeing what happens when Adidas gets to bring its full design weight to bare.