Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Controversy of the Day...

New England my inbox at least, is not that which is provoking howls of protest about the speech from David Willetts, shadow education spokesman, regarding grammar schools, but rather yesterday's launch by the RFU of the new England Strip.

The reaction generally seems to be that it's only one small step away from the notorious Stade Français pink away strip. I think this is going a bit far, but it's certainly the first time I wouldn't call it an improvement on the old one. I am a bit worried that the replica versions will look decidedly dodgy in on the supporting community. I wonder if the RFU insist on trials of prototypes on the some of the thousands of supporters who will be buying them, be it the somewhat beer bellied or the rather attractive female supporters who frequent the Twickenham Tup on matchdays.

Some of the marketing blurb left me a little bit cold too, according to the RFU:

"Visually, the new kit is strikingly different; incorporating an asymmetric sash at a diagonal running across the front of the jersey and shorts creating a unique version of the St. George’s Cross. A new red away jersey is also being introduced for the first time."

Erm...aren't crosses meant to be kind of 'cross'-shaped as opposed to 'line' shaped.

According to Jim Allaker, General Manager, Nike UK & Ireland

"These jerseys represent all that is special about England and our excellent rugby team."

Well...let's be honest England aren't on a great run at the moment, sometimes pretty crap, and the shirt...

It's only nit-picking anyway, we only get a new one marketed at us every four years or so, and many of us opt for our oldest club shirt on matchdays anyway, if only to prove we didn't first discover the sport in 2003. It's not like we find out that the one we bought last week is now out of date because the 'FA Cup 3rd Round, Replay' version is now the latest thing, as happens in less blessed sports.

At least this season Saracens performed well enough that my superstition about not washing my preferred shirt until a losing streak is broken hasn't caused wrinkled noses.

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