When Canterbury signed back up with Ireland back in 2014, they kept things very clean and classic, and that’s generally been the vibe they’ve gone for with the home shirts ever since.
Last season, however, we saw the first hints that Canterbury was going to try something a little bit more daring and modern with the Ireland jersey, and they’ve fully embraced that concept with the 2018/19 home shirt.
The ‘modern shamrock’ triangular motif is something that’s been a recurring theme of Ireland jerseys since Canterbury took over four years ago, but here it’s used in the most eye-catching and bold way yet.
The tiny tonal triangles run across the body of the jersey in various densities and patterns in what has to be one of the more eye-catchingly modern designs we’ve seen for a tier one test team.
Further contrast is provided by the sleeves and collar, which are pattern-free, and a slightly paler shade of green compared to the overtly ’emerald’ shade of the design.
The collar itself is Canterbury’s new rounded collar, which we’ve seen on all the other new CCC jerseys this season, including the new England shirts.
As has generally been the way with Canterbury for the last few years, the alternate shirt is basically a colour-swapped version of the home jersey.
Here, the body is teal – or ‘Moroccan blue’ if you want to go by Canterbury’s colour chart with the same triangular pattern, while the sleeves and collar are a much darker shade.
The more overtly contrasting sleeves are surely going to polarise – some would say it gives the shirt a bit more of a training shirt vibe, but we dig it.
One other facet of both shirts that you might not have noticed is the colour-reversal of the IRFU badge. Once again it’s rubberised, but usually the shamrocks are green on a white background, with the ball white – the contrast further making these shirts feel a little bit different.
For the people who get annoyed about these sort of things, the lack of any overt ‘story’ for these jerseys will be a breath of air – especially after the consternation around the England shirt launch a few weeks back.
But the lack of a ‘concept’ shouldn’t detract from what is a very bold and very memorable pair of jerseys – they won’t be for everyone, but they feel very much like what a 2018 rugby shirt should be.