Things have changed a lot at London Irish since we last reviewed one of their jerseys – since that time they’ve been relegated, got promoted again, and most importantly of course, got themselves a new kit supplier.
Irish join Gloucester in the XBlades stable for 2017, and just like with the Cherry & Whites last season, the Aussie brand has gone traditional with the home shirt here.
So after a few years of quite a light shade of green under O’Neills, we’ve returned to the darker green that the club wore back in their RugbyTech days, and that’s paired with some equally old-school white bars on the sleeves.
What’s more, we’ve even got an old-school fold-over collar for the supporter’s jersey – as with Gloucester last season, the on-field version has a low-profile round collar, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Weirdly, the replica version of the away jersey has the same collar as the on-field version – we’re not exactly sure why they’ve done this here and not on the home shirt, or vice versa, but there we are.
It’s a striking shirt, however – a sky blue design with thick white bars on the shoulders, complete with a white collar.
It’s a break from the usual white that the club has worn as an alternate shirt for the last few seasons, and while it’s pretty cool and stylish, it’s not quite as memorable as the pinstriped design they wore in their relegation season.
This is a tidy first effort from XBlades – they’ve kept things clean and classic, and while they might not be the most revolutionary shirts, sometimes that’s okay – certainly for a return to the Premiership.