The New Zealand Rugby Union and adidas today unveiled the highly-anticipated 2014/15 home jersey of the defending Rugby World Cup champions, the All Blacks. Released under the hashtag #BLACKESTJERSEYEVER, the new kit will be available for purchase at World Rugby Shop, Kitbag Rugby and Lovell Rugby starting today.
According to adidas: More than two years in the making, adidas has today unveiled the most technologically-advanced and blackest All Blacks jersey ever, four days before the highly anticipated match against England.
The jersey features the world’s most advanced apparel technology and innovative materials, developed exclusively for the All Blacks, giving the team a strong competitive edge. Working closely with senior All Blacks at every stage of its development, the jersey has been extensively tested, both in the lab and on the field, ensuring it enhances the team’s performance.
Player feedback specified that “fit” is the most important aspect of a rugby jersey. A body mapping process called Dynamic Stretch Analysis, typically used in the aerospace industry, has been used to ensure the jersey has the best possible fit and flexibility. Exclusive to the All Blacks, and never before used in apparel design, Dynamic Stretch Analysis was used to measure All Blacks players’ bodies as they move, revealing how much strain is applied to the skin and in which direction.
Based on these findings, adidas designed two jerseys, tailored specifically to the needs of All Blacks forwards and backs – jerseys that replicate the movements of players’ skin. Player feedback also specified that the forwards needed to get better grip for binding in the scrum, while the backs want it as tight as possible to avoid tackles, making the two jersey designs perfectly suited to all 15 players’ needs.
A revolutionary new fabric has been used in the creation of both jerseys to allow for optimum movement. 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. These benefits ensure the All Blacks have complete freedom of movement, first and foremost, and makes for the most innovative rugby jersey adidas has ever made.
A number of senior All Blacks players were involved in the testing phases of the jersey production, including: Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Liam Messam, Aaron Smith, Israel Dagg and Conrad Smith.
Dan Carter says: “The jersey has such a tailored fit and the fabric adidas has used is not only the most advanced of any team, it’s non-restrictive, making it the most comfortable I’ve worn. It’s so flexible and feels like a second skin; it will be an incredible advantage for the team. It’s also the sharpest looking jersey out there.”
The jersey’s aesthetic is a bold reflection of the team’s formidable power and relentless ability, and was designed to give the All Blacks a competitive edge over their opponents.
Taking inspiration from insights that the black jersey is intimidating to face, along with the strength and pride it evokes in those who wear it, the team at adidas had a vision of creating the blackest kit of all time. The white collar has been removed and, for the first time ever, all logos and numbers on the All Blacks jersey have been executed in gunmetal silver – while standing out on-field like never before.
Instrumental in the development of this design concept, the new-look logo executions and the symbolic edge it aims to garner, New Zealand Rugby and AIG were collaborated with to ensure the new jersey lived up to being the blackest ever.
Israel Dagg says: “I love the new jersey. It makes me feel stronger, and it will be awesome when we run onto the field and the other teams are faced with the wave of black.”
Steve Tew, CEO New Zealand Rugby, says: “We are heading into a momentous year for the All Blacks and the 2015 Rugby World Cup is a challenge that we can’t wait for. The new All Blacks jersey and those that wear it represent our nation and our determination to give the team the best possible chance of success and we’re thrilled with the commitment that has gone into creating a jersey that is designed specifically to enhance the performance of the whole team.”
adidas has developed the most extensive range of All Blacks merchandise ever, including three different jerseys for fans to purchase – a cotton-based supporters’ version, a traditional replica version, and the all-new performance version.