After the polarising nature of last season’s triangle-heavy more modernist take on the Ireland home and alternate jerseys, it’s no surprise to see Canterbury opt for something that’s ostensibly more classic for RWC2019.
That said, it certainly feels like Canterbury’s design ethos has moved quite far away from the retro-future aesthetic that they were once famous for, so this shirt might be clean, but old-school it ain’t.
Template-wise, it’s very, very similar to what England will be wearing in the tournament – the clean, plain base shirt with contrasting vents on the front and an asymmetrical pattern on the collar.
What’s a bit more interesting is the contrasting shoulder section – on the England shirt it was a modernist George Cross pattern, but here the pattern is what looks suspiciously like Ogham – the ancient Irish language that also featured on last season’s Leinster European shirt.
We’ve not seen any indication of what the script says, but it’s even more prominent on the alternate jersey… which also happens to be an early contender for worst jersey at the Rugby World Cup.
Let’s not get preoccupied talking about how the black shoulders look like they’ve been stitched onto the wrong jersey, and from a distance, that white and green mottled pattern just looks like the worst kind of 80s awfulness.
Closer inspection of that patter will reveal that once again it appears to actually be Ogham, but that doesn’t really matter if it doesn’t look nice, and honestly, it continues a worrying trend of straight-up bad change shirts from Canterbury.
Irish fans have been joking that Wales have a better looking Ireland jersey than they do, and that perhaps speaks to a bit of an issue with both this home shirt and England’s – they’re inoffensive, but they don’t exactly set the pulses racing. And with a bad away shirt, it’s understandable that Ireland fans feel like they’ve had a raw deal at this tournament.
Check out all the new RWC2019 jerseys in our full round-up here.