IT was only unveiled yesterday but already the new multi-coloured “quilt-style” Southern Kings jersey could rank among the most disliked Super Rugby kit even before it has been worn in a match.
There was almost unanimous disapproval of the jersey, described by some as a “clown outfit” and “jester’s tunic”, as the Kings continued their delayed Super Rugby preparations.
One observer likened it to a Bill Cosby Christmas sweater, while another said it was the worst jersey in the history of South African rugby.
Just a day after they named their initial draft of 20 players, the Kings unveiled the eagerlyawaited jersey, designed by kit-makers BLK, at their new merchandise shop at the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth.
A curious bunch was on hand to see players Edgar Marutlulle and CJ Velleman strutting their stuff in the new creation.
“It is a very different jersey and no one else in South Africa has got anything like it. We are very excited to launch it. I hope the fans love it,” BLK’s James Hughes said.
“It is very African and symbolises the Eastern Cape perfectly,” he said.
“The pattern in the jersey is an abstract version of a beaded design symbolic of the Eastern Cape.”
This was how some readers described the jersey on social media:
“Looks like due to financial woes, the jerseys were knitted by old-age homes. Quilts turned into jerseys,” commented Craig Edmondson.
“The players look like jockey riders. I’m sure you can change it before next year,” Alvaro de Jesus Henriques said.
“Um . . . really??? What else must these players go through,” Nataschia Klinkradt commented.
“They forgot the red noses!” quipped Paul Stapelberg.
“A rugby team? They look more like court jesters,” wrote Brian Shelley.
Lyall Butler remarked: “Looks like a Bill Cosby Christmas sweater.”
Errol Stroud tried to find a positive spin. “Could work. The opposition are really going to have a hard time keeping a eye on the ball, of focusing on the game.”
Velleman, who was one of the players who modelled the jersey, said: “Saw the jersey for the first time this morning and I absolutely love it. It is a bit different to every other team and that is what we want it to be.”