England unveil stunning new kits as Rugby World Cup looms

The England rugby team - the World Champions - unveil their stunning new kits as they prepare to defend their title later this year. They will play in their new red shirts for the first time in a friendly game against France on 18th August. It is the first time ever that the England rugby team, unlike their soccer counterparts, have had red away shirts

The 2007 Rugby World Cup takes place in France in the autumn.

Red is the new black for England

15th May 2007
Daily Mail

England rugby fans will be seeing red this year - for their stunning new away kit for the 2007/08 season is something of a departure from the traditional blue and white.

Lightweight, tighter, durable and visually striking, the new home and away kit is designed to give the team every possible advantage, helping the players meet the varying physical demands of the game in their individual positions.

Kit of all right: David Strettle and Shaun Perry model the new home and away England rugby kit. Unlike their soccer counterparts the England rugby union team have never had a red away shirt before

Visually, the new kit is strikingly different; incorporating an asymmetric sash at a diagonal running across the front of the jersey and shorts, with a small St. George’s cross on the left sleeve. A new red away jersey is also being introduced for the first time. Tight fitting rugby apparel was introduced by Nike in 2003 to reduce the opportunity to be tackled via the shirt.

Through Nike’s research, this season sees a further reduction in garment measurements that makes it even more difficult for an opponent to grab a player’s shirt. The reduction in the number of panels used to make the jersey also aiding comfort through reduced seams.

Red, white and new: Wilkinson - who scored the drop goal that won England the World Cup in 2003 in the Final against Australia - unveils England’s latest strip at Twickenham on Tuesday

The new shirt also features an extensively tested rubberised gripper print for players on the torso, when they are carrying a wet ball and on the shoulders, when locking into the scrum.

The shorts and socks have been developed to improve comfort and moisture management for the full 80 minutes of the game.

Jim Allaker, General Manager, Nike UK & Ireland said: “These jerseys represent all that is special about England and our excellent rugby team. This bold, new innovative design will inspire both players and supporters alike in what will be an extremely exciting and hopefully successful season ahead for England rugby.”

Paul Vaughan, Commercial Director, RFU said: "England have previously worn blue shirts as their away strip but there has never been any historical rationale for doing so, so we asked Nike to come up with a new design and colour and the results are fantastic”.

The England team will wear the new home shirt in the Investec Challenge matches against Wales on August 4th, France on August 11th, and the new away red shirt against France in Marseilles on August 18th.

my my...aren't they big boys...
Is that zero on their shirts the number of points they score per rugby game?