It’s the dawn of a new era for the Dragons – now owned by the WRU after years of financial difficulties, the clunky ‘Newport Gwent’ bit of the name has been axed and a new club crest has finally been introduced.
What hasn’t changed, however, is the kit supplier – Gilbert have just one top flight team left now following Newcastle’s move to ISC, and the new home jersey certainly feels like its had the full attention of the British brand’s design department.
In recent seasons the Dragons home shirts have veered from dull to tacky and a bit of both, but this feels like a substantially more coherent and considered attempt from the ball-making specialists.
The Dragons combination of black, red and amber is present and correct, with the most striking feature being an interlocking ‘inverted chevron’ pattern that dominates the bottom half of the design, front and back.
These chevrons are composed of interlocking shapes that apparently have a twofold purpose – they’re supposed to call to mind both the scales of a dragon’s hide, and also the scale armour worn by Roman legionnaires, as a nod to the area’s Roman heritage.
The away shirt is a further example of the new era for the region, as it dispenses with the blue and white ‘Kingdom of Gwent’ colour scheme that has been ever present for the last few years.
Instead the club has opted to emphasise red and amber in a design that echoes the home shirt. Is it a coincidence that this shirt harmoniously combines the red of the WRU and the amber of Newport RFC, well we’ll leave you to be the judge of that…
What it is, regardless, is a very nice shirt – in fact we think both of these designs are very nice indeed, and feel like a definite improvement over the last few years of Dragons’ jerseys.
They’re bold, confident, unique… everything you imagine that Bernard Jackman wants the Dragons to become on the pitch, and what the WRU needs them to become off it. Time will tell if the shirts end up fitting…