The New Zealand Warriors have earned a reputation for outlandish jersey designs in recent years, and that seems to have reached its inevitable pinnacle/nadir with the newly revealed ‘Bush Shirt’ alternate shirt for 2020.
Nestled in among the five (five!) alternate designs the Warriors unveiled on Monday was the above example of what happens when the kit designers presumably have some sort of competition to see who can squeeze the most ridiculous jersey past their bosses.
Which brings us to this gingham nightmare, resplendent in the historic black and gold colours of Wellington… but modelled int he style of that most cherished of New Zealand garments the Kiwi bush shirt.
The New Zealand equivalent of the plaid flannel shirt beloved by lumberjacks, graphic designers and music journalists the world over, the bush shirt is clearly an important part of Kiwi sartorial culture, and in many ways its a shock that they’ve waited this long to immortalise this on a rugby field.
The Warriors’ incredibly optimistic sales pitch of this jersey hate crime is to push the value angle, claiming that it’s, “like getting two things for the price of one – a collector’s item and another way to support your beloved club”.
Realistically, that’s perhaps the only sales pitch that’s likely to work, with it being described as everything from, “the worst jersey ever made”, and “the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen”, to one fan pleading, “this has to be some sort of joke… please…”
Instead, it seems like the joke is instead on any Warriors players who are unlucky enough to have to wear this on the field next season.