RUGBY

AB Jersey Launch AB Jersey Launch CREDIT: Media Release

All Blacks set to stand in black in improved adidas jersey

Thursday 26 April 2007, 4:56PM
By Fraser Mills
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adidas today launched its new and improved All Blacks team jersey, the lightest, strongest and most performance enhancing jersey ever made by the sportswear giant.

At a launch in the locker rooms at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium, All Blacks Carl Hayman, Nick Evans, Rodney So'oialo and Ma’a Nonu, revealed the new jersey, which features the latest product technology and a new design feature.

adidas New Zealand managing director, Greig Bramwell, said the new jersey is the result of months of testing and consultation with both All Blacks players and the New Zealand Rugby Union.

“Ultimately our aim was to create a jersey that allowed players to perform at their best,” Greig said.

In line with this, Greig said the jersey incorporates a number of technical features to enhance players’ performance including bonded seams to reduce chafing and irritation, and a lighter weight fabric.

“The new All Blacks jersey is 45 percent lighter than the last, which makes it easier for players to wear and move in,” Greig said.

“It also features ForMotion™ to fit with the movement of players’ bodies, which also complements the TechFit undergarments worn by a number of players.”

With ForMotionâ„¢ technology, apparel or footwear is designed specifically to the way the body works during a particular activity, accenting and improving the natural movement of the body.

“During a rugby game, holding a ball, lifting, catching , passing, and setting up for a tackle, requires players to have their arms out in front of their body, rather than down by their sides, so the jersey has been designed to support that body position, it is a three dimensional garment,” Greig said.

“Bodymapping technology was also used to map heat zones during play to ensure the jersey breathes in all the right places to keep players cool.”

Greig said for the first time an aesthetic change has also been made to the jersey – included in the design is New Zealand’s national symbol - the fern.

“The one thing that unifies every Kiwi is when the All Blacks - or any national team plays sport. The one thing that every national team in New Zealand has in common - and that uniquely represents New Zealand - is the fern,” Greig said.

The All Blacks have the silver fern embroidered on the left chest of the team jersey.

Greig said it was this fern shape and look that inspired the design of the black-on-black mesh inserts into the latest All Blacks jersey.

“We wanted to enhance the nationalistic look and feel of the jersey while remaining true to the clean black look - so we incorporated an embossed fern into the side panel.”

The jersey was launched to the European market at an event at the New Zealand Embassy in Paris last night, with former All Black Jonah Lomu in attendance.

New Zealand Rugby Union Deputy CEO Steve Tew said the adidas design would help the All Blacks: “Once again the partnership we have with adidas will pay real dividends. The technology and innovation in this latest jersey will continue to give our players a competitive advantage while maintaining the iconic features of the All Black jersey that mean so much to the players and fans alike.”

All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw, who was involved in testing of the adidas jersey, said the adidas technology was a confidence boost for players: “We want to take every possible advantage on to the field with us and adidas works hard to give us the edge.

“It helps to look at the stands and see lots of black jerseys too. In the back of your mind you know the support is there, but it’s fantastic when you can see that pride in the jersey.”

Replica jerseys are available in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes at sportswear stores nationwide from 1st May.