Ireland don’t have a great deal of call for an alternate shirt usually – the men in green only really clash with one other prominent team in test rugby, so a change shirt is usually a bit of a luxury. Not this year, however – Ireland will play South Africa at home to kick off their Autumn international series, and to do that, they’ll need to wear this brand new shirt from Canterbury.
Like the new England shirt, Canterbury has opted for none-more-trendy grey as the colour of choice here – something that will presumably make all the people who got het up about last year’s purple alternate shirt happy.
It’s a lighter shade than the England one, and it also keeps things cleaner on the body of the design – there’s no sublimated patterns here, they’ve saved that for the sleeves.
If you remember the new Ireland home shirt that was launched back in August, you might also recall that the sleeves had a tonal pattern on them that was designed to represent the highest peaks of the four Irish provinces.
Here we have the same design but instead of a tonal pattern the outlines of the peaks are done in striking ‘evergreen and jasmine’ as Canterbury refers to the shades of green, and it’s much more noticeable as a result. You can really pick out the shapes of the peaks here, which has to be a good thing.
Ireland will wear this shirt before they’ve worn their new home shirt, which is always a little bit odd – but with the Boks first up on the slate this November there wasn’t really much choice in the matter.
It does however give us a chance to appreciate the thinking behind this design in all its overt glory before the more subtle home shirt comes along, which has to be a good thing in the long run.