This week Nike unveiled the England Rugby team playing kits for season 2011/12.
For the first time the home kit (shirt, shorts and socks) is 100% white, whilst the new change kit is in complete contrast– a 100% black design, with the iconic English red rose standing bold and proud on both shirts.
Both kits feature head-to-toe innovation, with Nike technology at the very heart of the design to give players every advantage on the field. Every element of the playing kit has been tailored and improved to reflect player feedback from past seasons to make this the most complete England Rugby kit to date.
As the world’s leading sports brand we wanted to inspire the team with our bold designs, whilst ensuring that our innovation in apparel gives players added performance benefits on the pitch to give them the advantage.
The tight-fitting playing shirt is made of Nike Dri FIT fabric – a technology engineered to provide sweat management for athletes, pulling moisture away from the body to optimize player temperature and help them keep them cool and dry. All materials are strength-tested at Loughborough University to ensure they remain strong but flexible on game day to prevent tearing.
Based on player feedback, the collar has elastic within the neckline for the first time, keeping the neckline as close to the body as possible to help prevent shirt pulling whilst providing comfort. There is also a silicone gripper at the hemline of the playing shirt to help keep it tucked in and close to the body. The silicone hem features the word England in its design.
The clean white home shirt design features a subtle matt/gloss white check pattern on the front panel of the shirt whilst the change shirt has a matt/gloss black check in the same area.
The gripper panels on the shirt, to give players more control of the ball are now across the shoulders, pectoral area and stomach area of the shirt and arranged in a check pattern.
The iconic rose emblem is made from Nike Considered (recycled) yarn and heat-applied to the shirt to avoid puncturing and weakening the fabric.
For the first time the shorts feature a new flock hand dry print to help players keep hands dry during games. And the socks, which feature support material for the first time, have a no-contact toe seam and enhanced fit footbed to reduce blisters and improve comfort.
The new change kit will be worn for the first time when England play Wales at Twickenham Stadium in the Investec International on August 6 and again against