Scotland and Macron have enjoyed a fruitful partnership since they first teamed up back in 2013 – and in that time Macron has grown its profile to become one of the most widely seen brands in European rugby.
While that’s not something that’s universally popular in rugby circles, there can be little doubt that the jerseys Macron has designed for Scotland in that time have generally been rather nice, and their Rugby World Cup designs are no exception.
Last season, however, they broke from the pattern of broadly very retro, classic-style shirts with a design that felt a lot more modern in its general style – all superhero collars and trendy fades – but this is a return to something probably more crowd-pleasing.
That’s not to say these shirts are boring, however – the return of the SRU tartan in such a prominent fashion is a nod to the hugely popular RWC2015 jersey, and with it splashed all over the shoulders, collar and sleeves is certainly screaming ‘Scotland’.
While that might take this shirt away from the stripped-back vibe of many jerseys at the 2019 World Cup, this is still very much a jersey that harks back to the classic Scotland designs in its general feel.
This blend of the classic and the modern is perhaps best illustrated by the new collar design, which is unlike any we’ve seen from Macron before.
It’s a funny old thing, managing to look both classic and modern at the same time – the low-profile design might be a concession to 2019, but it’s definitely a proper rugby shirt collar, complete with fold-over design (with tartan on the underside, natch), but then that placket is just… odd…
Is it a V? Is it not a V? It’s certainly got a big V-shaped tartan insert, but the actual collar bit is a ring-neck with a slight squared off insert. We honestly can’t decide if it’s nice or not.
One thing we definitely DO like is the colour of the alternate jersey – going for a pale blue as a change colour might not be conventional, but compared to the grey, red and purple catastrophes we’ve had under Macron, this is much, much better.
Also much better is Macron’s new logo – it’s more striking than the old wordmark, looks classier, and generally helps the shirt feel less cluttered. Given how many teams are currently rumoured to be lured by Macron’s coin in the next few years, that’s probably a good thing.
When it comes to Scotland jerseys, Macron has by and large shown that they know what they’re doing – the 2019 vintage is another case in point.