If you’ve been a long-time visitor to Rugby Shirt Watch, you’ll have noticed a running gag about the Melbourne Rebels jerseys. Back in 2014 (!) the BLK released a pair of pretty nice jerseys for the 2015 Super Rugby season, and I was quite taken. The home shirt was a bit boring, as it was very similar to the previous season’s which itself was very similar to the home shirt that had been very similar since the team’s inaugural season in 2010, back when BLK was still called Kooga! The away shirt though, was a fun, modernist take on the hooped concept and, ever a sucker for a hoop, I quietly suggested it should be the home jersey.
But then, like a rugby team stuck in amber, things just stayed the same. Sure the collar design changed, there were tiny tweaks to the home shirt, hell the entire template changed, but for the next five seasons the Rebels would reveal their ‘new’ jerseys in a manner that felt almost sarcastic. But now that’s all changed. Well almost.
Okay so yes, somehow the Rebels boring blue home shirt is still carrying on, broadly unchanged as it has been since Danny fucking Cipriani was playing for the Rebels, but look! An all-new, completely different away jersey! For the Rebels! What a concept.
The away shirt debuted in this week’s Super Rugby AU and while it definitely has a ‘rejected NRL Women In League concept’ vibe to it, it’s actually quite nice, though some people will always hate union teams sporting chevrons. I like the pink, white and blue though – it’s fun.
Also new is the pink training shirt you can see above, but I think that’s just a sneaky attempt by the Rebels to pretend like they’re being more exciting than they actually are – nice try. It doesn’t change the fact that for the first time in half a decade someone at BLK has applied creative thinking to a Melbourne Rebels design, and for that, friends, we should all be thankful for.