As good as rugby kits were in the 1990s, the decade still produced some absolute howlers in Rugby World Cup years…
1. Canada home & away – 1995
It was the summer of 1995 and Canadian rugby legend Al Charron had a problem. The Canadian management had handed their star the task of presenting their new national team jersey to the media. This is a task that most players would relish, but for Charron, it was a day that would live in infamy.
“I was shown the jersey, with it’s terrible cascading multicoloured leafs about 10 minutes before facing the media at a press conference. I tried my best to sell the jersey to the reporters, but I could hardly disguise my shock and disappointment of what was to be our national team jersey.
“The design of the jerseys was one thing, but the quality was just above that of wet paper towel. Months later, at the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, I picked up from the base of a scrum in our match against Australia only to see the tackle shred my jersey. The jersey literally was ripped right off me. As the play went on, I obviously had to keep playing and I was running around the field looking like an intruder who had just run on to the pitch!”
The white version was produced but never worn.
2. England home – 2007
Nike really went to town with their design for this one. The random ‘swoosh’, ‘swash’ or ‘swipe’ of red that dribbled over England’s kit looked dated the moment it was unveiled. Ignoring the beauty of symmetry, England paraded around in a kit that made it look like the team had stood behind a fence that was being decorated and got accidently painted on. France had the same kit in blue, but the English kit wins for the sheer sharpness of the contrast in red and white.