Things might not have gone entirely to plan on the field for the Jaguares for their first two seasons, but you can’t deny that few rugby teams on the planet have looked better while doing it. The rugby world went absolutely crazy for the Jaguares first ever jerseys when they were revealed back in 2016, thanks to their near-perfect blend of clean simplicity and bold, eye-grabbing colours.
The combination of stunning design, their lack of availability outside of Argentina, and the fact that they were made by Nike – an tragically rare occurrence these days – meant that the original Jaguares shirts quickly became the ultimate rugby hipster accessory and some of the most sought after replicas on the planet, and it was the same with the 2017 vintage.
For 2018, Nike has opted to move away from the super-clean aesthetic, but without losing any of the design class that’s come to typify Jaguares jerseys.
So the customary black home shirt has this year dispensed with the orange accents that have been a hallmark of previous years, letting the tonal lined pattern that covers the front and back of the design add the dynamism.
It’s a cool pattern – vaguely reminiscent of England’s Sevens shirt from last season, but more subtle, and with a similar feel of movement and energy.
The away jersey is once again the eye-grabbing orange that’s proved to be such a hit with so many rugby fans all over the world (we’d have been disappointed if it wasn’t to be honest with you), and the tonal line pattern of the home shirt is replicated in identical style.
It’s pleasing to see that the Nike hasn’t followed last year’s practice of making the design of the Jaguares shirt very similar to the Pumas shirt – there’s no pattern repetition here, and interestingly the Jags jerseys also use a different collar style to the current Pumas jerseys.
Both jerseys also sport a little scroll motif with the word ‘Pasion’, which for everyone out there who doesn’t happen to be fluent in Spanish like us, means ‘passion’ – doubtless something that the UAR wants the fans to feel for their team, and what they want their players to show wearing the jersey, too.
Another interesting wrinkle about these jerseys is the fact that, while ostensibly home and away jerseys, they aren’t actually called that by the team. Instead, the home shirt is called ‘laburo’, Argentine slang for work, while the away is called ‘locura’, which depending on your translation means ‘crazy’ or ‘madness’.
We like the way these names have a bit of a double meaning – the restrained, demure home jersey epitomising the need for any team to work hard and do the unglamorous stuff, while the bright, garish away shirt epitomising the freewheeling spirit of adventure that’s made the Jaguares so much fun to watch.
Yes, it’s all a bit of silly marketing nonsense, but like so many other things surrounding the Jaguares branding it’s quite endearing, and it works. The same can certainly be said for these new jerseys, which also demonstrate that the Jaguares domination of rugby fans’ wishlists isn’t going to change any time soon.