The British and Irish Lions’ shirt for their 2013 tour of Australia and Hong Kong was released today, with manufacturer adidas drawing on the side’s last successful tour, to Africa, for inspiration.
While there were few major surprises with the shirt, which is red with the classic adidas three stripes down the sleeves, the changes are all in the details.
The oversized crest harks back to the origins of the Lions, as they celebrate their 125th anniversary, while the traditional white collar pays homage to the 1997 side which triumphed in the republic.
The tonal hoops are also symbolic of the hooped jerseys worn by the British Isles sides of 1888 and 1891, although they do serve a practical purpose too, enhancing the breathability and comfort levels of the jersey.
The fit is body hugging, while adidas’ climalite technology has been employed to ensure this is the lightest Lions jersey ever.
The British and Irish Lions, to be coached by Kiwi Warren Gatland, begin their 2013 tour with an historic game against the Barbarians in Hong Kong, before travelling to Australia in a quest to right the wrongs of the 2001 tour, when Graham Henry’s men won the first game in scintillating fashion before allowing the Aussies to steal the next two matches and grab a series win.