Since 1888, rugby sides from the United Kingdom of Britain and Ireland came together to tour the Southern Hemisphere.
Ever since this first tour in 1888, despite many trials and tribulations, the Lions have represented everything that fans of the game adore about rugby. In an increasingly professional sporting age the Lions represents an almost entirely unique concept.
As part of their new partnership with the Lions, Canterbury have looked to maintain and build on this long established heritage, and that has begun with their 1888 collection. Paying tribute to Arthur Shrewsbury’s demand for a Lions jersey of “good material” that would “take them by storm”, the latest collection from Canterbury has the look and feel of everything you would expect from such a shirt.
Although the Lions have become synonymous with their sharp red shirts in recent years, at the time the original shirt utilised striking thick red, white and blue stripes. So not only have Canterbury produced a traditional soft cotton red jersey, but they have also designed and produced a shirt that pays tribute to the original red, white and blue hoops.
Having had chance to try both the red, and hooped shirt, I can vouch for the quality and authenticity of the range. The soft cotton shirts feel solid enough to cope with even the most physical confrontation with the Boks, whilst remaining comfortable enough to wear off the pitch as well.
It is rare in this day and age to find any manufacturer producing quality cotton rugby shirts so it truly is a breath of fresh air that Canterbury have developed this range. The shirts will bring back memories of school rugby sessions where there was a certain comforting feel to the proper cotton jerseys, no matter how heavy and wet they got. There’s also something to be said for those of us with a figure more akin to a prop than winger who can now wear a traditional rugby shirt without the figure hugging problems modern synthetic materials pose.
If you’re interested in checking out the range yourself, you can do so here. As you may be able to tell, our first impressions are very positive, we are therefore now left looking forward to the full range being released ahead of next years tour.