This weekend the NRL 2020 season finally resumed, and while COVID-19 meant that fans have been waiting two months for footy to resume, the fact that NRL is one of the very few live sports still being played means that round 3 very likely exposed the sport to its largest global audience in years.
But this weekend also gave us a fresh chance to check out the 2020 NRL jerseys in action, and the results were… pretty good? It must be said that this season’s crop of home shirts is above-averagely good, with a few exceptions.
But as with anything else in sport, there have to be winners and losers… so let’s get down to business…
16 Gold Coast Titans
There’s nothing wrong with bold and modern takes on the classic rugby league chevron… but this is just a bit of a mess, isn’t it?
15 St George Illawarra Dragons
There’s also nothing wrong with a classic rugby league chevron… but the Dragons’ jersey has been basically unaltered for many seasons now, and it’s verging on a little boring.
14 Newcastle Knights
We actually really like the varying thickness of stripes across the chest, but why oh why could it not extend across the sleeves? Instead we have what effectively is a whole new pattern there instead. Bleugh.
13 Melbourne Storm
Purple jerseys are cool, and we like a modernist take on the chevron, but there’s just a little too much going on here for our tastes.
12 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
The Bulldogs home shirt has been basically the same since Canterbury had the contract, but there’s nothing more unfortunate than a jersey that’s been designed so it can accommodate a main sponsor and then doesn’t.
11 North Queensland Cowboys
The Cowboys rarely go a season without unveiling some new and modern take on their classic jersey design, and this multi-pinstriped affair is one of their more successful attempts.
10 Sydney Roosters
The big ol’ chevron has been a fixture of Roosters jerseys for some time now, and it works really well with the triple bar on the sleeves – though the red sleeve cuffs are a bit ott.
9 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
We honestly do try not to let unsightly main sponsors knock a few marks off a jersey, but honestly… this shirt would have been so lovely with something a little less wordy and with a lot less orange.
8 South Sydney Rabbitohs
There’s rarely any change with Souths’ fundamentally nice home jersey every season, and so it is here – we do wish that they’d go back to having hoops all the way around, mind.
7 Wests Tigers
Another shirt that hasn’t seen much variation over the last few seasons, but we can’t complain when it’s this nice – orange and black is one of the all-time GOAT colour combos, and the double chevron is cool.
6 Canberra Raiders
Sometimes clean and simple is all you need, and the Raiders’ 2020 effort is a lovely example of the form – with those bands on the sleeves really setting it all off.
5 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
That flattened double-chevron is a really cool take on the classic form, and we really love the pinstriped piping on the collar and the shirt sleeves.
4 Penrith Panthers
The Panthers’ return to their ‘Liquorice Allsorts’ 90s colours has been one of the best uniform decisions a sports team has made in recent years. The red, yellow and green pinstripes across the chest mixed with some tonal stripes on the bottom is a fantastic combo.
3 Brisbane Broncos
The most pressing question about the Broncos jersey in recent years is ‘how big is that gold bar in the middle going to get?’ That said, it’s still a beautiful design, especially with the double pinstripe addition.
2 Parramatta Eels
The Eels traditional mix of blue, yellow and pinstripes has produced some stunning jerseys over the years and this is no exception – the half and half design split by the thick pinstriped band is a fabulous bit of jersey design that’s both distinctive and classy.
1 New Zealand Warriors
It had to be, didn’t it? The Warriors brought back their original 1995 colour scheme last season, and well… just look at the damn thing? The only way it could be better is if was the Bush Shirt.