Ireland kit supplier Canterbury has launched its first ever Women’s Rugby World Cup replica jersey to mark the global tournament taking place on the Emerald Isle next month.
While Canterbury has released replica women’s jerseys for England and Ireland in the past, this is the first time they’ve produced a bespoke replica jersey for the Women’s Rugby World Cup.
The jersey itself is similar to the standard women’s cut replica jersey that has been available since the launch of the men’s jersey last season, complete with a wide V-neck collar as opposed to the men’s on-field stub design.
However, unlike that jersey, this one not only carries the Women’s Rugby World Cup crest, but also a circular badge (as opposed to a shield) surrounding the IRFU logo.
We don’t know what the on-field version will look like yet – for the last few years Ireland Women have worn a variation on the 2014/15 men’s shirt, but obviously the collar here looks a bit impractical to be worn in a test match. It’s worth noting that England’s Women, also supplied by Canterbury, have been wearing an identical shirt to the men this season.
Whether Ireland Women will do likewise remains to be seen, and understandably some fans will say that this collar represents a double standard – it’s unlikely a mens’ shirt would be released with an incorrect collar, after all.
However, we think this probably has a lot more to do with the fact that this style of jersey has proved more popular than the on-field design (both styles are available for the Lions, for example), and they obviously want this special shirt to be as widely adopted as possible.
Regardless, it’s great to see apparel makers really getting on board with the growth of women’s rugby, and allowing fans to get behind it as they would the women’s game – more of this please.