It seems faintly ridiculous that last season saw the Crusaders win their first Super Rugby title for nearly a decade – they’re one of those teams that never really seems to have a bad season, but by their high standards things haven’t gone to plan in the last few years. Now, however, they’re back on top and they’ll be looking to defend their title wearing a brand new pair of jerseys from Adidas.
For the last two years the Crusaders have been wearing a very different shirt for them – the black-to-red fade was super-cool, but it definitely minimised the club’s primary colour, but that balance has been redressed for 2018.
This new jersey is much more of a classic Crusaders design, with red the obvious star of the show, and with the black this time restricted to the stripes, collar and sleeve cuffs.
This is still an Adidas shirt, however, and so of course it’s not as simple as all that – so we also have a striking sublimated pattern that dominates the bottom half of the design made up of a variety of sword shapes, in an obvious nod to the sword-wielding fella on the club crest.
It’s striking enough that it should please fans of modern shirt design, but subtle enough that it won’t put off the traditionalists – a nice and difficult balance to strike.
For the last few years, the Crusaders’ change shirt has generally been grey – more in reference to an old knight’s armour than a desire to be trendy we imagine – but this year they’ve opted for a brilliant white example.
Of course, it’s not just plain white – this is Adidas. So on the top half of the jersey we have a very unique and very unusual grey wavy stripe pattern that runs down the front of the design.
As usual, there’s an idea behind the pattern – apparently the design is designed to represent ice crystals, in reference to the way that the Crusaders ‘dismantle their opponents with ice cold efficiency’. Er, yeah, us neither.
Either way, it’s actually quite a cool and unique design, and it’s nice to see them break from the procession of knight/armour/medieval warfare-inspired shirts and do something a little bit different.
These two shirts haven’t captured our imagination quite as much as last season’s, but they’re still very, ahem, cool, indeed.