England launch new kit and it’s purple !

England Rugby have launched their new change kit for the 2009/10 season – and for the first time in the history of the RFU, the shirt is purple.

Nike and the RFU collaborated on the new design, drawing on inspiration from the iconic purple track jacket that was rewarded to players called up to represent England in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

England’s youngest ever captain Will Carling commented: “Purple for me makes me think about when I first played for England.”

“I remember when I played England school boys and you got the purple tracksuit, and that was it. It was just wow.

“For me, the colour purple means England Rugby.”

England captain Steve Borthwick is looking forward to pulling on the jersey for the first time and said: “The purple kit looks striking and really stands out. I associate the colour purple with the late 1980’s and early 90’s, one of the golden era’s of the English game.

“As a kid I remember seeing heroes such as Will Carling, Rory Underwood and Jerry Guscott lining up for the national anthem wearing the purple tracksuit.


“That emotion, that pride and spirit is ever present within the squad to this day. I have no doubt that the players will be as motivated and proud as ever taking to the pitch wearing this new kit.”

The innovation and technology in the new change kit mirrors that of the latest white home kit which, weighing in 27% lighter than in previous seasons, is designed to give the team every possible advantage on the pitch.

Tight fitting rugby apparel was introduced by Nike in 2003 in a bid to help reduce the opportunity to be tackled via the shirt, and this season sees further innovations to improve the fit of the apparel. The ergonomically designed jersey, with underarm sleeve panels gives players complete freedom of movement combined with an optimised fit and comfort.

RFU Head of Retail, Andy Ward said, “We are very excited to be launching our new change kit in the colour purple. Purple is part of England Rugby’s history and with Nike’s new technology we were able to modernise the shirt to fit in with today’s trends.


“We are looking forward to the players running out at Twickenham in purple on November 14 and we hope that the fans will enjoy wearing the new range.”

Leo Sandino-Taylor, Head of Communications, Nike UK and Ireland said: “The new purple kit is a wonderful historical and inspirational representation one of the great generations of English Rugby.

The need to produce a change strip for the visit of Argentina gave us great opportunity to really look at England’s proud rugby history and create a design that would inspire the players and fans.”

The England squad will wear the new change kit for the first time against Argentina at Twickenham on 14 November.

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