Every year there seems to be a vocal minority of people lobbying to expand the Six Nations tournament. The name most commonly brought up whenever this debate is provoked afresh, is that of Georgia.
As of December 2018, the eastern European nation comfortably remains the highest-ranked European non-participant in the Six Nations, and will (in 2019) once again appear at the World Cup.
Though not a 2019 World Cup participant, Romania are also one of the more esteemed European nations outside the elite six.
The ‘Six Nations B’ consistently features either Georgia or Romania at the top of the standings, but their place at the 2019 World Cup was taken (due to Romania fielding ineligible players in qualification ) by a Russia side who will return after an eight-year absence from the tournament.
But which of the current 2018 kits is most worthy of the Six Nations? Let’s examine their current gear
Appropriately, Romania have used the pectoral area to make the boldest statement of all, with stripes of red, yellow and blue dominating the chest area of this Mizuno shirt representing the country’s flag.
If they wanted to go a bit more out there, the yellow here could have been a bit more bright and garish, but there wouldn’t be a real reason. The more subdued tone here perhaps indicating that they want to keep a low profile after a difficult year for Romanian rugby.
After being awarded a place at next year’s World Cup, you fear that the Russian team may sink without trace in Japan.
That said, if they want to eventually take their place at the top table and see their name etched among the current Six Nations fixtures – including the likes of England, Wales and Ireland – a good performance won’t do them any harm at all.
Russia’s Adidas kit is a solid plain red effort, with a nicely contrasting white collar, which always lifts a jersey – think of the classic Wales and Australia teams of yore for example.
Okay, so they don’t hit the heights of the old Canterbury Russia jerseys, but it’s still perfectly decent.
Georgia have been fixtures at the World Cup for recent tournaments, but they are already being dismissed as ‘also rans’ in their group – which also contains Australia and Wales – even if they narrowly lost to Wales on their only previous meeting to date.
However, being suckers for Georgia’s maroon Canterbury jerseys, it will be a shame if the Lelo’s expected early exit comes to pass.
We absolutely loved Georgia’s home shirt for 2017/18 with its lovely gold trim, but if anything the new jersey is even nicer – with its lovely low-profile collar and pale grey piping.
Some might say that this shirt is a bit too clean for its own good, but there’s a real beauty in simplicity here, and if in a few years’ time, we’re seeing this shirt in the Six Nations, we certainly won’t complain.