The Parramatta Eels have not had what you’d call a fantastic time of it over the last few years – from general on-field mediocrity to off-field scandals and financial hijinx, it’s not exactly been a great time for their fans over the last few years.
But 2017 saw the team turn the corner – they made the finals for the first time since 2009, and 2018 saw them swap the staid and uninspiring XBlades jerseys they’ve been wearing for the last few years with new ones made by ISC… and the results are pretty damn good!
70s and 80s-style throwback designs have been the order of the day for the last few seasons in Parramatta, as has been the case with many teams in the NRL recently, but rather than continue down that path, ISC opted to look further back for something a bit more distinctive.
The result is this absolutely stunning blue jersey with thin gold hoops, accented with a retro style collar. There’s also a change shirt that flips the script with a gold jersey complete with blue hoops.
Hooped designs are more of a rugby union thing than league in this day and age, but the style has pedigree in both codes, and this shirt is an example of that – it’s a nod to the jerseys worn by Parramatta in the 1960s, particularly those worn by club legends Ken and Dick Thornett.
This so-called ‘Thornett Jersey’ is a really nice nod to Parramatta’s past, then, but more than that, it’s also one of the most beautifully simple and classy jerseys in the NRL this season.