Following some debate over the Springbok’s alternative jersey that they wore for their Rugby World Cup opener against Scotland, SA Rugby has moved to further clarify why the team is required to wear an alternate jersey, despite their preference to always be in the classic green and gold.
In a statement, SA Rugby said while the Springbok primary jersey of green and gold is always worn as the first choice whenever permitted, there are occasions where this may clash with other teams’ jerseys. In these instances, the Springboks may be required to wear an alternate jersey.
In addition, new colour blindness guidelines are in operation at the Rugby World Cup, which have increased the number of occasions on which one of the competing teams is required to wear an alternative jersey.
South Africa was required to change for Scotland and will do so for the match against Ireland on 23 September.
SA Rugby says the Boks’ have two alternate jerseys – the first is ”hyper-jade” (some might argue it’s actually turquoise or teal) and white; the second alternate is white with a hyper-jade collar.
The second alternate will be worn against Ireland as the hyper-jade is too like Ireland’s green jersey.
Should the Springboks progress to the knockout stages of the competition, and if they are drawn as Team B against a team with a clashing colour the team will wear the hyper-jade alternate as the first option.
SARU says jerseys are designed by sports team apparel manufacturers and ultimately approved by the relevant federation.
All the Nike jerseys provided to SA Rugby were presented to and received the seal of approval from a senior Springbok leadership group as well as SA Rugby management.
The design of the hyper jade jersey was influenced by Ndebele design traditions and its colour – in addition to traditional white – was inspired by the colours of the flora and landscape of South Africa.
A spokesperson said: “The Springboks are not permitted to wear the green and gold jersey in every Test match – as much as we would like to. The alternative jersey colour is white, but Nike proposed enhancing the plain look with a modern design drawing on various influences in a new combination to appeal to a new and wider audience. It was presented to senior Springboks, who gave it their seal of approval.”