The British and Irish Lions, along with apparel manufacturer adidas, have just released the official jersey ahead of their 2013 tour of Australia, with few surprises being sprung in a shirt which is traditional and pays homage to Lions sides of the past.
Featuring a traditional collar for the first time since 1997, it’s no coincidence that this was also the last time that the Lions secured a series win, when they defeated the Springboks 2-1 in the Republic.
The oversized crest on the front of the jersey draws its inspiration for the original British Isles shirts of 1888 and 1891, while the tonal stripes also have their roots in these early shirts, which featured red, white, blue and green hoops.
The tonal stripes do have a practical uses as well though, enhancing the breathability of the shirt and increasing player comfort levels in the process, while adidas’ climaLite technology ensures this is the lightest Lions shirt ever produced.
Emphasising the attention to detail, the green and blue features inside the collar match the green and blue of the socks, representing the Scottish and Irish teams.
The Lions will play 10 games in their 2013 tour, beginning with an historic match against the Barbarians in Hong Kong, before heading to Australia, where they will meet the Wallabies in a three-match test series and play all five of the Australian Super XV franchises.