Canterbury’s partnership with the Ospreys was one of the most exciting bits of off-season news in the rugby shirt world. The Welsh region has a reputation for its bold and attention-grabbing jerseys, while CCC design team is one of the best in the business, and increasingly keen to push the design boundaries. It sounds like a perfect match, no?And on the evidence of the first fruits of this relationship, in the shape of the brand new Ospreys away shirt, the answer is an emphatic yes.
Though the Ospreys’ jerseys have rarely looked much alike from one season to the next, one thing has always remained constant – the home shirt is always black, and the away shirt is always white. And so that’s exactly what we have here.
What is a bit of break from the norm, however, is that we don’t have a bright and garish contrasting secondary colour this year – no pink or blue or orange… instead we have something a bit more thoughtful to add some interest.
What we have instead is a striking modern design that features zig-zagged hoops of silver, grey and black that darken as we move down from the chest to the base of the jersey.
Now, this being Canterbury of course, these hoops aren’t just there because they look cool – they don’t do anything by accident and this is no different.
Canterbury calls the design ‘bedrock hoops’ and the thinking behind these is that they serve as a reminder to players and fans alike of the historic foundations of Ospreylia – the fans, the clubs and everything else that have contributed to make them the most successful Welsh region in the last 14 years.
In similar fashion to the current Leinster home shirt, this motif is printed inside the jersey as well so that players can see the bedrock of their supporters as they pull the jersey on and off before and after a game.
That’s all well and good of course, but clever thematic ideas don’t really mean much if they don’t look any good… but thankfully this doesn’t just look good – it looks absolutely stunning.
It’s not an easy trick to make a jersey that’s modern and bold but somehow still manages to look clean, and yet Canterbury has nailed it here – the simple black and white palette used outside of the bedrock hoops gives them room to breathe and so it never feels busy.
Instead it’s balanced, classy and feels totally different from any Ospreys away jersey we’ve seen before – in fact, it might very well be the nicest change jersey the region has ever had, and one of the nicest designs of the season.