Since we revealed a few weeks ago that Fiji has signed a deal with Nike, the rugby world has been on tenterhooks to see exactly what this stunning partnership between the world’s leading apparel brand and one of the game’s most iconic sides would look like, and now we finally know.
The brand new Fijian 7s jersey is being launched ahead of the participation of Fiji’s men’s and women’s sides in this weekend’s Oceania 7s tournament, and already it’s one of the best jerseys of the season, if not ever.
When the tie-up with Nike was announced, the FRU confirmed that the new jerseys would incorporate traditional Masi art, and we can see that in the intricate patterns that run around the sleeves of the jersey, but that’s hardly the standout thing here.
The best sevens jerseys are the ones that eschew traditional designs to go for something that’s bold, inventive and memorable, and here Nike have really stepped things up. Instead of a plain white jersey, as is tradition, we instead have a striking pattern of black jagged diagonal hoops, run through with blue pinstriping.
The blue of course is a nod to the Pacific ocean, and is also the primary colour of the training gear that was launched shortly after the Nike announcement was made, so it’s great to see that carry on to the main jersey and tie the whole range together.
This is of course just the first Fiji jersey that Nike will produce – the Flying Fijians test jersey is due to be revealed in the run-up to their test series against the All Blacks in July, and there’s also the small matter of an Olympics gold medal to defend. While no mention of whether the Fiji team will wear Nike at the Olympics has yet been made, that could be an opportunity for even more Fiji x Nike fun.
As for what the Flying Fijians jerseys will look like, well we doubt they’ll be quite as eye-catching as the Sevens, but that’s entirely appropriate for test rugby, and in fact we think there’s a hint already. If the test jersey isn’t plain white with a black collar and the same Masi art that’s on the sleeves of the Sevens shirt, we’ll be very surprised.
Stay tuned to find out if we’re right about that or not…