ACT Brumbies skipper Sam Carter, and fullback Tom Banks.Photo: Jamila ToderasThe ACT Brumbies have jumped into a Super Rugby time warp to go back to the future for their new jersey, hoping a tribute to the inaugural playing strip will give fans a reason to reconnect with the club.
The Brumbies will wear a jersey next year which will be almost identical to the one the players wore in the first season of Super Rugby in 1996.
It’s a massive shift from the club’s direction two years ago when an all-blue, non-traditional strip caused major fan uproar because the 2016 jersey lacked any links to Brumbies history.
But with two years of off-field drama behind them, the Brumbies are hoping fans re-engage with rugby union in the capital.
“I like it. It’s traditional, much like the Brumbies original jersey,” said coach Dan McKellar.
“I think it will be popular amongst the fans, it’s certainly popular with the boys. There was one year there when we went away from our traditional type of jersey.
“If we were honest, the fans weren’t all that rapt with it. So it’s nice to go back to a jersey that both the players, staff, organisation and community appreciates and feels a part of.
“We’ve got a proud history and we want to make sure we always pay respect to that.”
The home jersey will be predominantly white, with blue across the chest and a deep yellow stripes to pay tribute to the ACT’s traditional colours. The alternate strip will be an inverted model of the main jersey.
The Brumbies launched the new look on Tuesday, with the deep yellow stripes replacing the gold design of last season.
The ACT Brumbies jersey for the 2018 Super Rugby season, left, next to a heritage jersey from 1996. Photo: Chris Dutton
“It’s a bit of back to the future. It’s a very prestigious club and has a long history, going back to the original jersey will bring a lot of people out to support the games,” said Sam Carter.
The Brumbies found off-field stability this year under the guidance of chief executive Michael Thomson, but Australian rugby’s reputation was battered and bruised when Rugby Australia axed the Western Force.
Crowd numbers dropped at all Australian games and the five Australian teams lost a combined 26 trans-Tasman derbies against New Zealand opponents.
“All the supporters in Canberra are very passionate in general, I think with this jersey and what it represents with everyone who’s worn it before, we’ll uphold that next year,” Carter said.
“Every time we put the jersey on, we represent everyone who has ever played. It gets that feeling of nostalgia of what people remember about the Brumbies and what we can do in the future.”
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