The new Scotland rugby shirt was described as a “classic reborn” by new kit suppliers Macron at today’s kit launch at Archerfield Gold Club in East Lothian. There is no piping and a marked absence of non-standard colours such as orange, purple or gold on the main strip.
So far, it looks a winner. But there’s a reason for that – the fans.
Back in February fans were given the opportunity to submit designs to the governing body and, following an overwhelming response, a jersey drawing on the influences of many of the entries, which clearly defined what supporters were looking for, has been produced. So there’s a clear swelling of support amongst fans for Scotland to get back to their traditional basics on the pitch, starting with the shirt. And one lucky fan whose design was chosen as the inspiration was taken over to Italy to see the new strip being produced.
With the final jersey design drawing on many of the competition entries, a shortlist of four entrants were asked to submit a short explanation on the reasons behind their design from which a winner has been chosen.
Stuart Gray (33) said: “The Scotland shirt is a significant piece of clothing for many people, so I’m blown away and incredibly proud to have had an influence in the design of this new piece of kit.
“It was amazing seeing it for the first time and watching it come off the factory line, but at the moment it doesn’t feel real that I had an input in the final design.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to prepare myself for when the team first run out at Murrayfield wearing the jersey, it’ll be amazing and so exciting.”
They will first play in it on Saturday 9 November against Japan at Murrayfield, and it is navy blue with a white collar as we all hoped but few expected. The traditional thistle design that featured on the 1990 Grand Slam winning jersey will be subtly embossed on the back.
The Scotland 7s shirt, which was also released at today’s fashion show, sticks with the more traditional look but varies with a purple shoulder panel across the top and white stripe detailing ander the arms. Given the colourful nature of many Sevens shirts,
Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, said: “We’re delighted to unveil our flagship shirt today, the first product of our biggest ever sponsorship deal.
“We have been blown away with the engagement from our fans with over 200 entries coming in since February. We believe this will be a very popular jersey with its modern design technology underpinned by traditional influences.
“I personally cannot wait to see the team and the fans wearing it for the first time at our game against Japan in November at Murrayfield.
As well as the official playing jersey and premium Macron kit range, a value for money line will be available, called the Murrayfield Collection, comprising of a traditional cotton rugby shirt, hoodies and polos.
Macron’s CEO, Gianluca Pavanello, said: In Macron we’re really proud of this new partnership and we have been working on the development of the new uniforms for many months in collaboration with Scottish Rugby. Since our first meeting we have already created a very special bond with Scottish Rugby which has allowed us in a very brief period to understand the mood of the team and its supporters in order to best service them.
“We aim to create a collection that is unique and deserving to its passionate fan base across the rugby world. The new collection will be characterised by quality and attention to details, typical of the “Italian haute couture”. I’m confident that both players and fans shall appreciate and reward our efforts as a bespoke collection that symbolises the nation as well as the core values of the federation.”
The kit is available in shops from tomorrow (Friday 2 August) and Macron are offering fans who purchase the shirt a special prize giving supporters the chance to win VIP hospitality tickets for the forthcoming Autumn Test match against Japan.
Fans purchasing a new Scotland shirt will find a special label attached, featuring a promotional web address that can be used to buy a ticket to the Japan game. On purchasing the match ticket, the buyer will automatically be entered into a draw to be upgraded to VIP hospitality.
At today’s launch Scotland (Ross Ford, Ryan Grant, Stuart Hogg, Greig Laidlaw and Tim Visser), Scotland Women (Megan Gaffney and Inverness Craig Dunain’s own Jade Konkel), Scotland 7s (Michael Fedo, Colin Gregor and Andrew Turnbull) and age grade (Phil Cringle and Jamie Farndale) players were in attendance along with children from North Berwick Rugby Club to help launch the various garments.
Scotland and British & Irish Lions full-back, Stuart Hogg, said: “I’m really looking forward to playing in the new shirt and I really like the traditional design that Macron and Stuart [Gray] have gone for.
“I remember when I was growing up seeing footage of Scotland’s greats playing in a navy shirt with white collar, so it’s going to be quite a thrill pulling this jersey on for the first time.”