Heritage and strength as adidas unveils the All Blacks jersey for Rugby World Cup 2015
The jersey, unveiled at a function in Auckland, New Zealand today, is the most technically advanced All Blacks jersey to date, but has undergone a subtle design change that pays respect to the legendary Originals team, which toured the United Kingdom, France and the USA in 1905-1906, losing just one match on their famous 35-match tour.
A patterned design across the shoulders and chest of the new jersey was inspired by the famous leather yoke which adorned The Originals jersey. The design was developed with input from All Blacks management and senior players.
Simon Cartwright, Senior Director – adidas Rugby, says: "We wanted to pay respect in some small way to The Originals in the design of the new jersey and acknowledge the century-long success of the team, and we think we have done that with the subtle design around the chest.
"The players were enthusiastic about the design when we discussed it with them. At the end of the day, they're wearing a jersey that represents not only them as players but their country, so they need to be happy with what they wear.
"The Originals were really the first All Blacks team to capture the rugby world's imagination, especially in the United Kingdom, so we think it's fitting that the team is heading back to the UK this year with that on their chest."
As with previous Rugby World Cup jerseys, the RWC trophy is embossed on the right sleeve of the jersey acknowledging the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup successes in 1987 and 2011. Dedicated fans will no doubt also notice the movement of the logos, with the inclusion of the Rugby World Cup 2015 logo on the right, which sees the adidas badge move to the centre of the jersey. The All Blacks silver fern logo remains on the left hand side of the jersey. The adidas and All Blacks logos, as well as the jersey numbers on the back, are a gun metal silver colour.
All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw, who was consulted over the design, says: "To wear a jersey with a design that represents the nation's proud rugby heritage and reflects the team's success since that iconic team of 1905-1906 is hugely significant to us. We're ready to wear the Rugby World Cup jersey with pride."
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew says: "The mana behind the jersey combines everything the country and our sport stands for. It's an honour to provide our players with the opportunity to wear a jersey which pays respects to our rugby ancestors."
The fabric and technological advances in the Rugby World Cup jersey were first unveiled in the "blackest" All Blacks jersey launched in England in November 2014.
Using ground breaking techniques usually reserved for the aerospace industry, a body mapping process called 'Dynamic Stretch Analysis' allowed adidas to measure bodies as they moved and how much strain was being applied to the skin. Based on this research, adidas has developed two jerseys, tailored specifically to the needs of All Blacks forwards and backs – jerseys that replicate the movements of players' skin.
Featuring fabric-weaving technology, which has a unique two-way stretch, Woven Carbon was developed by the team at adidas to ensure the use of a superior fabric that doesn't compromise on strength, flexibility, weight or comfort, and can withstand the rigour of the game.
Along with an extensive range of All Blacks merchandise, adidas is offering three versions of the Rugby World Cup jersey: the cotton-based supporters' version priced at $120 (RRP), the traditional replica version selling for $150 (RRP) and the performance version for $200 (RRP). The full legacy range will be stocked at adidas stores and major sporting goods retailers, rugby retailers worldwide and online at www.adidas.com.
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Gugu NtuliPerformance PR ManagerSouth AfricaGugu.Ntuli@adidas.com27 (0)21 442 6200