The new Scotland rugby shirt has been described as a "classic reborn" by kit suppliers Macron at today’s kit launch at Archerfield Golf Club in East Lothian.
Back in February fans were given the opportunity to submit designs to the governing body and, following an overwhelming response, a jersey drawing on the influences of many of the entries, which clearly defined what supporters were looking for, has been produced.
The shirt that Scotland will first play in on Saturday 9 November against Japan at Murrayfield is navy blue with a white collar. The traditional thistle design that featured on the 1990 Grand Slam winning jersey will be subtly embossed on the back.
The Scotland 7s shirt, which was also released at today’s fashion show, sticks with the more traditional look and varies with a purple shoulder panel across the top and white stripe detailing on the sides.
Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, said: “We’re delighted to unveil our flagship shirt today, the first product of our biggest ever sponsorship deal.
“We have been blown away with the engagement from our fans with over 200 entries coming in since February. We believe this will be a very popular jersey with its modern design technology underpinned by traditional influences.
“I personally cannot wait to see the team and the fans wearing it for the first time at our game against Japan in November at Murrayfield.
“We’re also delighted to confirm that we will be supplying the full range to a breadth of high street and online retailers, including our official retail partner, Greaves who will be stocked up from tomorrow (2 August), and that the leisurewear and playing kit will be sold at very competitive prices.”
As well as the official playing jersey and premium Macron kit range a value for money line will be available, called the Murrayfield Collection, comprising of a traditional cotton rugby shirt, hoodies and polos.
Macron’s CEO, Gianluca Pavanello, said: “In Macron we're really proud of this new partnership and we have been working on the development of the new uniforms for many months in collaboration with Scottish Rugby. Since our first meeting we have already created a very special bond with Scottish Rugby which has allowed us in a very brief period to understand the mood of the team and its supporters in order to best service them.
"We aim to create a collection that is unique and deserving to its passionate fan base across the rugby world. The new collection will be characterised by quality and attention to details, typical of the “Italian haute couture”. I'm confident that both players and fans shall appreciate and reward our efforts as a bespoke collection that symbolises the nation as well as the core values of the federation."
With the final jersey design drawing on many of the competition entries, a shortlist of four entrants were asked to submit a short explanation on the reasons behind their design from which a winner has been chosen. Scottish Rugby is pleased to announce Stuart Gray, 33, who lives in Edinburgh but is originally from Cove in the Borders, as the final winner.
In winning the competition, Gray has had the chance to travel to Bologna to see Macron produce the new kit – a video of his travels can be seen at www.scottishrugby.org – and he attended the kit launch today.
Stuart said: “The Scotland shirt is a significant piece of clothing for many people, so I’m blown away and incredibly proud to have had an influence in the design of this new piece of kit.
“It was amazing seeing it for the first time and watching it come off the factory line, but at the moment it doesn’t feel real that I had an input in the final design.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to prepare myself for when the team first run out at Murrayfield wearing the jersey, it’ll be amazing and so exciting.”
The kit is available from tomorrow (Friday 2 August) and Macron are offering fans who purchase the shirt a special prize giving supporters the chance to win VIP hospitality tickets for the forthcoming Autumn Test match against Japan.
Fans purchasing a new Scotland shirt will find a special label attached, featuring a promotional web address that can be used to buy a ticket to the Japan game. On purchasing the match ticket, the buyer will automatically be entered into a draw to be upgraded to VIP hospitality.
At today’s launch Scotland (Ross Ford, Ryan Grant, Stuart Hogg, Greig Laidlaw and Tim Visser), Scotland Women (Megan Gaffney and Jade Konkel), Scotland 7s (Michael Fedo, Colin Gregor and Andrew Turnbull) and age grade (Phil Cringle and Jamie Farndale) players were in attendance along with children from North Berwick Rugby Club to help launch the various garments.
Scotland and British & Irish Lions full-back, Stuart Hogg, said: “I’m really looking forward to playing in the new shirt and I really like the traditional design that Macron and Stuart [Gray] have gone for.
“I remember when I was growing up seeing footage of Scotland’s greats playing in a navy shirt with white collar, so it’s going to be quite a thrill pulling this jersey on for the first time.”
MACRON “DESIGN A SCOTLAND JERSEY” WINNER
Date of birth:
Favourite Scotland player:
Stuart Hogg – he’s an exceptional player with a clear enthusiasm for the game. His pace and lines of running make him a massively exciting player to watch with the ball in hand.
Favourite Scotland memory:
Watching Scotland play rugby has always been an activity that has brought me together with friends and family – it’s a shared passion that creates special events. My grandfather took me to see my first international match when I was eleven. It was Scotland v Japan at Murrayfield, the first game of the World Cup. I can remember being really excited travelling up to Edinburgh, and then being in awe at the size of the stadium, and the huge crowd of people entering it. It was a great first match to see, with Scotland winning well and scoring several tries. I really enjoyed the buzz of the match-day atmosphere, watching Scotland win, and being spoiled by my grandad – with sweeties and a Scotland scarf from the club shop. It was a brilliant introduction to a life-long passion, and I took up playing rugby shortly after. I was lucky enough to be able to provide a similar first-match experience for my nephew earlier this year, at the 6 Nations match between Scotland and Italy. It was a great game, with Scotland playing really well and Stuart Hogg running the full length of the pitch for a cracking interception try. It was brilliant to see my nephew enjoy his first match and start to get excited about Scottish rugby. Knowing how much I treasured my first international (a milestone in my life that sparked an enthusiasm for the game) – it was a real privilege to indulge my nephew with the same experience – and it was brilliant for Scotland to deliver such an emphatic win for us all to enjoy.
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