It feels like only yesterday that the Lions were something of a footnote in South African rugby, and indeed Super Rugby in general. As recently as 2013 they had effectively been relegated out of the competition having finished at the bottom of the ladder and been replaced by the Kings… but those days are long over.
While that elusive Super Rugby title still eludes them, they’ve finished as runners up all three years, and that success on the field has been reflected with a marked improvement on the jersey front, too, not least last year’s hooped number.
2019 might be the most interesting new change yet, however – gone are the primarily red jerseys of the past in favour of a new design that’s primarily white, with red very much the secondary colour.
The primarily white base jersey has an interesting tonal isometric pattern running up and down it, while it also forms a white hoop on each sleeves.
The red is now reduced to the chest and shoulder areas, as well as a small ring on the sleeve cuffs, and some stripes down the ribcage. It’s certainly an interesting design… but we’re not sure if we exactly love it.
While the traditional Lions colours were white with red accents, that’s changed in the last few years, and we’ve come to associate the red colour with the success of recent years, and as a result this feels like a bit of a throwback.
But maybe that’s the point, and we’d never begrudge brands trying something a little bit different, so fair play to them for that. Ultimately, if the Lions can win a title at last wearing this shirt, we’re sure the fans won’t care about them ditching the red one bit!