The nine-month long wait to reveal the new Nike-designed Springbok jersey finally ended on Tuesday when the Springboks’ new Castle Lager Rugby Championship jersey was revealed.
The six-year partnership was announced in September since when the design and development of the new jersey and accompanying lifestyle collection has been kept top-secret.
The wait ended today when Nike revealed a playing kit that provides the team with the latest in innovation and design while heeding the team’s wishes to respect the traditions of the green and gold.
“The launch of a new jersey is always exciting, but the anticipation and expectancy around today has been building for months,” said Rian Oberholzer, CEO of SA Rugby.
“We are immensely proud of what Nike has provided and the feedback from the team has been great since they were kitted with the training gear recently. The new jersey honours the traditions of the Springboks in its design and construction while adding subtle nuances to set it apart. We couldn’t be happier.”
Elite players require a kit that provides comfort, durability, and support; these insights informed the design and craft of the new Springboks kit.
The jersey was engineered to serve the needs of the athlete and what the Springboks will experience on the field is a jersey that keeps them dry and cool, provides reinforcement and mobility allowing them to move with less friction.
The Nike designers worked closely with the team to design a kit that reflects the history of the team and South African culture.
The classic ‘green and gold’ jersey has been reimagined to include a traditional collar with the underside of the collar giving a nod to the South African flag. As an acknowledgment of the team’s spirit, the phrase “Stronger Forever” is inscribed on the inside collar.
The bold new alternative jersey pays homage to the local cultural through the patterned print and the colourway was inspired by and celebrates the hues of the local nature.
Ventilation mesh panels in key areas of the kit also improve performance by increasing air circulation to the players’ bodies and regulating their temperatures.
“We involved the senior team leadership group in the approval process, and they were immediately appreciative of what Nike were trying to achieve in design and construction,” said Oberholzer.
“We are looking forward to seeing the jerseys in action over the coming weeks, including the alternate jersey which will make its debut in Buenos Aires next month.”
South Africa’s other national teams will also appear in new Nike-designed apparel. The Springboks’ Rugby World Cup jersey following the same design will be unveiled next month.
Completing the collection is an assortment of lifestyle products that will serve the needs of the players off the field.