The New Zealand All Blacks have revealed the brand new 2018/19 home shirt that the reigning World Champions will wear throughout their 2018 and 2019 international matches and beyond.
The new shirt, which was revealed in Tokyo this morning is unsurprisingly all black, of course, but features the return of the much-loved white collar, as well as a variety of technological advancements under the hood.
The new shirt was created over an 18-month period, during which Adidas sought the advice of senior All Blacks players including captain Kieran Reed, Beauden Barrett, Sam Whitelock and Sonny Bill Williams, who all provided input into the jersey from both a performance and design standpoint.
As is often the way with Adidas’s All Blacks designs, the German sportswear giant has hailed the new design as ‘an advanced jersey of the future’ and there’s plenty of technology to back that up.
In what Adidas is claiming to be a world first for a rugby jersey, the new shirt has been constructed using seamless technology, to improve the strength and durability of the jersey, as well as reducing its weight by a whopping 25 per cent.
Construction of the shirt is also fully automated for the first time – a process that Adidas says contributes to the new All Blacks jersey having unparalleled strength and unparalleled fit.
“I’ve been honoured to wear a few black jerseys in my career,” said All Blacks captain Kieran Reed at the shirt’s launch. “There’s a lot of amazing work that goes into the design and we’re always excited to see where adidas takes its innovation when it comes to new technology and design. We enjoyed working alongside the adidas team to help create it and can’t wait to wear it out on the field.”
“We’re proud to deliver industry firsts, especially creating a fully automated, lightweight design for the All Blacks,” added Adidas VP of Specialist Sports.
“We continue to strive for a fit that mirrors a ‘second skin’, suitable for all athletes across the field. We have undergone rigorous fit and performance testing with key athletes over the last 18 months and we are confident that this release will deliver the best performance yet.”
The All Blacks will wear this jersey for the first time against Japan in Tokyo this weekend, and will wear it throughout their 2018 Northern Tour and the 2019 Rugby Championship.
Like most other teams in the tournament, New Zealand will have a new jersey for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, but will return to using this jersey after the global showpiece until after the 2020 Rugby Championship.
Keep an eye on Rugby Shirt Watch for our full, in-depth review of the new 2018/19 All Blacks home shirt from Adidas very soon.