The Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 kicks off in Ireland this week, and as well as seeing a big boost in the interest in the women’s game, it’s also given us the chance to check out a variety of new jerseys that will be worn for the tournament.
While we’ve featured various WRWC2017 shirts on the site so far this summer, but it’s rare to get a chance to check out player-issue jerseys in the flesh. Adidas has very kindly rectified this by sending us all of their Women’s World Cup shirts to take a closer look at, so let’s see how they compare to the men’s designs.
As you’d expect for most of these shirts, the differences between the men’s and women’s designs is pretty minimal, and this France home design has the same basic design as the current 15s home shirt, but with a few little differences.
We’ve got the WRWC2017 logo on the right side of the chest of course, but it’s interesting that the Women’s shirt uses the new-style Adidas collar, while the men’s version is still using the old-style open-necked collar.
The twin chevrons aren’t sublimated into the design as you might expect, instead they’re printed with a slightly rubbery substance, so they have a textured, grippy feel. It’s worth noting that this shirt also features a hard, rubber GPS pouch between the shoulders.
The USA signed up with Adidas after BLK’s financial issues, and while they rushed out some jerseys for the USA men to wear for their summer tour, the women will be the first to wear these proper, bespoke designs.
The home shirt sports a subtle tonal hooped pattern on the body, with the hoops thinning at the top and bottom of the shirt, while everything else is very minimal and subtle – and we have to say it’s rather lovely.
The away jersey is a great deal more out there, with a stylised grey striped version of the USA rugby logo dominating the bottom of the front of the jersey.
Both shirts also use Adidas’s ergonomic collar, and also feature the GPS pouches, and have red and blue accents under the sleeves and cuffs.
Interestingly given Adidas’s close relationship to New Zealand rugby, the Black Ferns are the only team that appear to be sticking with the old template for the RWC2017 jersey.
So, they still have the open collar and the design as a whole appears to be identical to the All Blacks shirt from two seasons ago, though without the woven carbon material.
The change shirt is again, the same as the All Blacks jersey from two seasons ago, and interestingly we also don’t have a GPS pouch on this design.
They’re both nice jerseys of course, and these things work in cycles so we assume that this World Cup has just fallen at the end of a kit cycle for the Black Ferns, hence the lack of updated collar/design.
It’s always nice to get our hands on test match jerseys to remind ourselves of how impressive the on-field products are compared to replica designs, and in this case it’s equally good to get our hand on women’s designs to appreciate the differences to the men’s designs.
And the truth is, there’s really not much difference – as it should be. The cut of the shirt is slightly different, as you’d expect, but other than that these feel every bit the elite athletic product.
The 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup is a huge moment for women’s rugby, and we think it’s great that three of these designs will be making their debuts at the tournament – it’s no less than the World Cup deserves, and hopefully will be the start of us being able to feature jerseys from the women’s game on Rugby Shirt Watch more regularly.