Major League Rugby is in its second season, which is better than many rugby leagues in the USA have managed, and they’ve celebrated by adding two new teams to the league, and revamping the kits for the seven teams that competed in its inaugural season in 2018.
As with last season, all nine teams in MLR have their kit made by the same manufacturer, XBlades, but as we’ll see, there’s plenty of variety and individuality on show – let’s check them out.
The Elite’s first season jerseys were, frankly, a bit meh – they looked dated and a bit training shirt-y, but the 2019 variants couldn’t be more different.
Once more making use of the great black, white and sky blue colour palette, the home and away shirts both feature a striking triangular motif that covers the front of the designs.
The only team to exist before taking their place in MLR, the Raptors ditched their traditional hoops for something a bit more modern in 2018, but for this season have gone even more out there.
The home shirt is dark blue with a striking wing motif across the front, while the away is once again yellow with a pinstriped raptor graphic across the body.
With a plain black home shirt in 2018, the Sabercats weren’t exactly tearing up trees design wise, and they’ve kept things clean again this season with the shirt being ornamented only by a hatched tonal pattern to the body.
The away shirt is a bit more interesting, with a yellow base jersey sporting an interesting black faded belly band.
New Orleans Gold
Gold is the name, and the NOLA Gold have certainly been keeping gold at the forefront of their mind with their jerseys so far.
Last season’s white and gold numbers have been improved with an interesting hooped design that works both tonally and not on the home and away shirts.
Rugby United New York
The first new team to enter Major League Rugby in 2019, the controversially named RUNY also have brought the best colour palette, club logo and dare we say it, kits, to the Big Apple.
The home shirts blue and orange might be borrowed from the Mets, but it certainly looks the part, while the white and blue hooped away shirt with orange trim is an absolute stunner.
San Diego Legion
Owners of some of the MLR’s most interesting designs in 2018, the Legion have kept things very restrained for their second season.
The home shirt is red with an interesting black striped motif on the front, while the away is none more white, with just a few bits of red trim.
The Seawolves home shirt was the best in the league last season, and so it’s no surprise that they’ve opted to give the beautiful hooped design a second airing in 2019.
The away shirt has changed quite dramatically, however – the lime green jersey being accented with a bold outline of the Seattle skyline across the front.
The second new team for 2019, the MLR’s first Canadian team has opted to keep things very clean for their first season, with a blue and white colour palette that calls back to the Toronto’s other famous sports teams – the Maple Leafs, Blue Jays and Argonauts.
While the shirts themselves might not win any design awards, they do serve as a great platform to showcase a truly superb and timeless club crest.
What was perhaps our least favourite set of jerseys last season has flipped the script entirely thanks in no small part to the relegation of the ‘face’ logo to the shoulder on these 2019 jerseys.
Instead, we’ve got a lovely tonal hooped jersey complete with a Brumbies-style quad pinstriped contrasting band across the front. Lovely in either red or black.