The highly anticipated Wallabies jersey for 2021 and beyond has arrived.
The Herald has obtained a photo of the strip that will be worn by the national team from now on following a vote earlier in the year to find a permanent colour.
Last year’s Wallabies jersey (left), the 2021 jersey (middle) and the 1991 top Australia wore at the Rugby World Cup (right).
Australian rugby royalty gathered in January to vote on a shade of gold that resonated with the public. The group, featuring former Wallabies coaches and captains, picked the same colour jersey worn by Australia’s World Cup-winning 1991 team, captained by Nick Farr-Jones and coached by Bob Dwyer.
The colour of the famous strip has changed many times in recent decades and Rugby Australia wants to have consistency moving forward.
While the design will be tweaked in years to come, the colour will not.
RA is yet to formally launch the jersey, but that is expected in coming weeks.
RA chairman Hamish McLennan said: “I’m really pleased with the outcome as we continue to put the DNA of rugby in Australia back into the game.
“Those players who’ve seen it realise it’s a magic jersey. We’ve confirmed the colour. It’s never changing.”
Eight jerseys were on display at Crown Sydney, with the 1991 strip winning a final vote over the 1984 jersey that Australia wore on their unbeaten tour of the UK and Ireland.
(L-R) Bob Dwyer, Tim Gavin, David Campese, Phil Kearns and Gary Ella pose with vintage Wallabies jerseys. Credit:Edwina Pickles
Those present in Sydney were in favour of the 1991 edition, but after votes in Brisbane were counted there was a tie, meaning McLennan had to have the final say.
His chairman’s call was swayed by a Herald poll, in which the 1991 jersey prevailed as the most favoured by more than 13,000 readers.
Asics, who make the jerseys, usually work in 18-month cycles but have managed to come up with a final product that has been signed off by the RA board.
Jerseys are still in the production phase and the Wallabies will wear them for the first time on July 7 at the SCG when they face France in the first of three Tests.
The Wallabies team of 1991 after a Test match against England. Credit:Getty
Australia’s last Test at the SCG was in 1986 against Argentina. Simon Poidevin led the Wallabies that day and was also a member of the successful 1991 team that beat England 12-6 at Twickenham in the World Cup final. He said there was a nostalgic element about the new kit.
“I think the whole process and engagement across the game has produced a fantastic result,” Poidevin said. “It’s a phenomenal colour for the Wallabies to be played in.
“Players are always incredibly proud to be wearing the Australian colours. There has been lots of change and I think we got to a colour which signifies the significance of the Wallabies jersey, especially through the ’80s and ’90s. The players will have added incentives to wear those jerseys.”
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