By the ridiculously high standards of New Zealand’s Super Rugby franchises, the Blues have been something of a poor relation in the last few years – though as the British & Irish Lions found out last summer, that doesn’t mean they’re a team to be taken lightly. The Blues have some of the most exciting attacking talent in New Zealand, and they’ve paired it with some of the most striking and downright gorgeous jerseys in all of Super Rugby in recent years.
With some of the other New Zealand Super Rugby jerseys we’ve seen this season, the theme this season has been a return to classic colours and looks after trying a few different things for the last few years, but rather than reverting to the traditional more reserved and darker shades of blue this year, the Blues have opted to stick with the super-bright shade they experimented with last year – and it works.
It’s also a good deal more unconventional than some of the other shirts we’ve seen from NZ teams this year, with a striking graphic that covers the entire design.
The pattern is striking and impressionistic, but the theme it evokes should actually be a familiar one for Blues fans, as it once again uses the landscape surrounding Auckland as its inspiration.
The pattern is designed to reference the dormant volcano that stands above Auckland, Mt Eden – specifically, it mimics the ridges surrounding the mountain.
The away shirt is a different design entirely, and also swaps things up a little bit opting for dark blue instead of white as the primary colour, but it’s actually continuing the theme set out in the home design.
So if the home shirt is designed to represent the ridges that surround the now dormant Mount Eden today, the away jersey takes things in a more, er, active direction.
The striking weathered graphic that covers the front and back of the shirt is actually designed to represent the fire and ash billowing from an erupting volcano, inspired by the volcanic landscape of the Auckland area.
Now, you could argue that for a rugby team playing underneath a dormant volcano, the last thing they’d want to be doing was inciting it to start getting hot and bothered again – and maybe so. That said, we’ve heard that volcanoes don’t give a shit about rugby shirts so perhaps we’re worrying over nothing here…
Both of these shirts are really striking and unique, both sporting memorable graphics and a really smart and effective use of colour – there’s an argument to be made that these are the nicest NZ Super Rugby jerseys this season.
The home shirt is perhaps a little peculiar and in your face for some tastes, but the more subtle away jersey is really pretty special.