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Super Rugby Aotearoa sides unveil new away jerseys following kit clash chaos last season

By Online Editors
(Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The chances of any kit clashes in this year’s edition of Super Rugby, as was the case last year, have been eliminated following the unveiling of a new set of away jerseys for the New Zealand franchises on Wednesday.


The Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders have all released new away jerseys for the upcoming campaign following a 2020 season that saw multiple kit clashes.

When the Highlanders played the Bulls in Pretoria in the final game of the pre-COVID-19 version of Super Rugby, the hosts had to change into their white-and-yellow away kit at halftime as the visitors’ away jersey looked too similar to their home strip.

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The Hurricanes faced a similar predicament when they played the Stormers in Cape Town last February, with many finding it difficult to distinguish the two teams apart as the away side wore their grey/blue strip.

The kit clash concerns continued in Super Rugby Aotearoa when the Blues and Highlanders squared off at Eden Park in Auckland.

As the Highlanders’ home jersey was blue and their away kit was blue/green, the Blues were forced to wear their white away jersey while playing in front of their home crowd.

Blues wing Caleb Clarke busts through the tackle attempts of Highlanders pair Scott Gregory (left) and Sio Tomkinson at Eden Park last year. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The jersey debacle has seemingly come to an end, though, as the new away jerseys released for the 2021 season are predominantly white.

Four of the teams – the Blues, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders – will have different coloured sleeve and collar trims on their white jerseys, while the Chiefs will don a grey away jersey.

The Blues away jersey looks very similar to its 2020 predecessor as it maintains its predominantly white look with blue patterns, although it appears the shade of blue on the collar, sleeves and stripes on each shoulder is slightly darker than that of last year’s jersey.

According to kit supplier Adidas, the Blues jersey is “inspired by Tamaki Makaurau [Auckland]”, which is reflected in its incorporation of “a fluid look” that “draws inspiration from the reflection of the Harbour Bridge”.



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Using the same template for the Crusaders away jersey, except with a red trim on the collar and sleeves and three black stripes on each shoulder, Adidas said “the jagged edge pattern” is inspired from the Southern Alps.

“From these mountains, flow ancient glaciers, which inspire the jerseys pattern, to reflect both their legacy and unstoppable momentum,” Adidas said on its website.

Similarly, the Highlanders’ white away jersey is accompanied with a dark green trim and black shoulder stripes, with Adidas designers looking “to the earth surrounding them to inform its aesthetic, using earth as an organic element”.

The kit manufacturer said the “abstract pattern” evident on the jersey represents the rural and city life within the Highlanders region, while also incorporating tartan to symbolise Dunedin’s Scottish heritage.

Josh Ioane models the new Highlanders away jersey. (Photo /

Adidas said it had updated the Hurricanes’ away jersey from last year, which was “created by mapping out some of the 390 wind turbines in the Wellington area”.

The 2021 jersey’s “sweeping fade affect pattern on a steely grey base” is “combined with the look of wind hitting an object” to create “a unique graphic”, all of which is complemented with a yellow trim and black stripes on each shoulder.


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The Chiefs, meanwhile, took their grey-coloured inspiration from “Kohatu [stone] connecting it with the flowing pattern of Wairerenga [running waters] washing and rippling over the top”.

Made in conjunction with members of the Maori community, the Chiefs away jersey features a grey trim and white shoulder stripes.


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