By Saturday lunchtime GMT the first batch of 2013’s British and Irish Lions will be pulling on their famous red jerseys for the first time. Some may even go on to wear them in the tests, surely the ultimate accolade for a player from these Isles.
With the 2013 model, makers Adidas have made several nods to Lions heritage for this, the 125th anniversary tour.
For starters there is a Lions 125 motif on the back of the collar, and what can only be described as a “nearly proper” collar makes a welcome return to a top rugby side’s kit. Here’s hoping more follow suit. I know plenty of Scotland fans would like to see the return of the collar on our shirts.
This collar is apparently a nod of the hat to the last Lions winning tour in 1997, and visually it does have more than a flavour of that model, the first produced by Adidas. The collar is also the place where the Irish and Scottish colours hide, tucked away safe to stop them getting too dirty…right?
There is also a very faint red on red hooping on the body of the shirt, which harks back even further to the original hooped Lions jerseys from 1891 and 1888 which were dark blue, university red and white hoops. 1910 even had a suspiciously Scottish looking one.
The shirt is still thoroughly modern though with the appearance of the triple stripe and Adidas’ climalite fabric. It can be a bit scratchy feeling on first wear but is by no means uncomfortable and tends to soften up with washing, while I am sure will have benefits if the summer should materialise at any point – in this particular application it will hopefully be very useful to keep you cool in the pub! It’s a big improvement on the 2009 model and will hopefully see an improvement in the Lions fortunes on the pitch too…
You’ve still got until tomorrow midnight to get your entries in to win something very similar!