The dust is now settling on a busy August at First XV and rugbystuff.com. Along with kids going back to school and the 2018-19 domestic season kick-off last weekend we have seen brand new shirt and kit releases for Edinburgh, Glasgow and Scotland in successive weeks.
We’ll kick-off with where it all started. Edinburgh Rugby’s kit release was eagerly anticipated following the announcement way back in May that the club would be undergoing a re-branding process.
The Red and Black colours that had served Edinburgh since their professional inception have been retired, replaced with a new navy blue and lava orange colour scheme. The clubs badge has also been completely re-designed and is now simple, bold and representative of the famous Edinburgh Castle. The tagline of EST. 1872 is also included, a nod to the region’s rugby history – well before the advent of professionalism.
Navy blue harks back to this history as a colour previously sported by the district team, while the lava orange is a nod to the volcanic roots of Edinburgh.
I think it’s fair to say the announcement was met with a large amount of scepticism from fans. Any big change is always going to polarise opinion. However, we at First XV were just relieved an obscure team name hadn’t been plucked from the sky by the marketers referring to some form of animal, à la Bristol Bears!
On release of the merchandise collection followed by the home and away match kit from Macron, the response has been nothing short of staggering. We are seeing increased sales across the Edinburgh range, this can only mean the fans are voting with their feet and wallets.
Will this be the year that Edinburgh can push the fan base on considerably? Continued success on the pitch will certainly help matters hugely but perhaps we’ll have to wait one more season for that, until the new stadium on the back pitches fits the bill.
Second up for release in our rugby kit trilogy was Glasgow Warriors. No re-brand required here, Glasgow have built an outstanding brand identity and fan base over the last few years so it is business as usual.
The home shirt has a familiar feel to it, almost entirely black with the bonus of the official Warriors tartan taking more of a central role. The away shirt reverts to predominantly sky blue for the first time since Macron took over, with the new addition of white and black hoops. Rumours are the design may have been player-led On our social media channels, it seemed to split the fans
opinions, however again sales have been strong.
To conclude this trilogy more epic than Star Wars, at the end of August we saw the highly anticipated launch of the new Scotland Home & Away kits. We were made to wait an extra month longer than for the 2017 release so the tension was mounting in store as we awaited their arrival.
We’ll begin with the away kit which is predominately silver with debossed stripes, with navy panels and sky blue flat lock stitching completing the look. A new addition to the Body Fit player’s shirts is the replacement of embroidery with liquid silicone logos. The traditionalists might have something to say but they certainly give a more modern feel!
The home shirt sticks with the traditional navy with the addition of purple panelling and a subtle stripe contrasted with green stitching. The colours are said to be inspired by the colours of the Scottish Rugby tartan. For the more traditional rugby fan, we also carry the home strip in replica versions (offering a more relaxed fit) plus cotton short sleeve and long sleeve versions so all tastes are catered for.
Overall we have had a positive response to the new kits from Scotland’s ever-growing and avid fan base. Of course, the occasional keyboard warrior is thrown in for good measure; it is impossible to please everyone and I’m sure you’ll let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
One thing is for sure – there is still a huge appetite to see the Scottish Rugby tartan back on the home and away shirts. The RWC 2015 shirts (with tartan and full collar) still continually come up in conversation with fans from around the globe. Hopefully we’ll see it make its long-awaited return for the Rugby World Cup 2019 taking place in Japan. There’s not long to go until we will know…