PUMA and the IRFU announced the launch of the new home and alternative kits this week. Declan Kidney’s men will wear the new PUMA Ireland alternative jersey for the first time against France on Saturday, August 13 in Bordeaux.
This will be the first time that Ireland will ever have worn an alternative shirt against any Test side other than South Africa.
The home shirt takes its inspiration from the styling of traditional buttoned neck rugby shirts from the 1800s and incorporates an off-centre placket detail, a direct reference to an original Ireland shirt image that was found within IRFU archives.
The crest itself uses a unique lenticular application that gives it a three dimensional optic, designed to give the crest a premium look and feel.
The shirt is made using an innovative ‘four-way stretch’ fabric that allows unrestrictive body movement and is engineered to wick away moisture to help regulate body temperature and therefore improve player comfort.
Cut for an athletic fit, the shirt works with the body during exertion providing compression to support muscles and improving blood circulation.
In addition, the control panel on the chest takes the shape of the basalt columns that make up the Giant’s Causeway for extra support when on pitch.
The new alternative shirt follows PUMA’s ‘speed theme’ with a dynamic look offering all of the benefits of the home shirt complete with a contemporary neck line.
The neck itself is highly engineered to ensure the best possible player comfort and maximum durability.
To enhance player confidence, the shirt also features padded detail on the nape of the neck for more impact cushioning during contact.
Roger Harrision, Marketing Director of PUMA, commented: “We’re both proud to have again worked closely with both the players and coaching staff to deliver a range of kits that perform to the highest standard.
“Both the home and alternative shirts have been designed with player comfort as priority, while incorporating the latest PUMA technological developments.
“We wanted again to produce a kit that has an understated modern look and feel, whilst paying tribute to the IRFU’s heritage.”
Padraig Power, Commercial & Marketing Director of the IRFU, commented: “There has always been a strong tradition of the Ireland alternate white jersey being worn against South Africa, wearing it against France for the first time in the game in Bordeaux is going to help the team to build a new tradition.
“We are thrilled with the new kits and I firmly believe our supporters will be also delighted and will wear them with pride.”