SportLocker can today reveal that Nike has unveiled the 2011/12 England Rugby team playing kits – and as always we have some awesome imagery and a video for you!
For the first time in history the entire home kit is completely white, whilst the new change kit is 100% black in contrast – which makes the English red rose stand out amazingly.
And as always with Nike, both kits include head-to-toe technological innovation.
Every component of the playing kit has been tailored and improved to reflect player feedback from past seasons to make this the most complete England Rugby kit to date.
The tight-fitting playing shirt is made of Nike Dri FIT fabric – a technology engineered to provide sweat management for athletes, pulling moisture away from the body to optimize player temperature and help them keep them cool and dry. All materials are strength-tested at Loughborough University to ensure they remain strong but flexible on game day to prevent tearing.
Based on player feedback, the collar has elastic within the neckline for the first time, keeping the neckline as close to the body as possible to help prevent shirt pulling whilst providing comfort. There is also a silicone gripper at the hemline of the playing shirt to help keep it tucked in and close to the body. The silicone hem features the word England in its design.
The clean white home shirt design features a subtle matt/gloss white check pattern on the front panel of the shirt whilst the change shirt has a matt/gloss black check in the same area.
The gripper panels on the shirt, to give players more control of the ball are now across the shoulders, pectoral area and stomach area of the shirt and arranged in a check pattern.
The iconic rose emblem is made from Nike Considered (recycled) yarn and heat-applied to the shirt to avoid puncturing and weakening the fabric.
For the first time the shorts feature a new flock hand dry print to help players keep hands dry during games. And the socks, which feature support material for the first time, have a no-contact toe seam and enhanced fit footbed to reduce blisters and improve comfort.
Marc Van Pappelendam,General Manager Nike UK & Ireland said of the launch: “The classic new white home kit and the contrasting black change kit are our most innovative and bold playing kits created for the England squad.
“As the world’s leading sports brand we wanted to inspire the team with our bold designs, whilst ensuring that our innovation in apparel gives players added performance benefits on the pitch to give them the advantage.”
RFU Chief Commercial Officer Sophie Goldschmidt added: “We are delighted with the new kits which will keep England at the forefront of rugby design and innovation thanks to our long-standing relationship with Nike. We believe both kits will be very popular with supporters in what is an exciting year for English and global rugby.”
The black kit will be worn for the first time on August 6 when England host Wales at Twickenham and again against Argentina on September 10. You will see the boys wearing the white kit against Wales in Cardiff for the first time on August 13.
The authentic playing shirt will set you back £90, while the replica comes in at £50.