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New Nike England change kit goes regal

29 October 2009

  • Nike unveil new purple England change strip
  • See England in purple for the first time against Argentina on November 14

England Captain Steve Borthwick in the new purple England change jersey

Photo: RFU Archive

England will play in purple for the first time when they pull on their change strip for the Investec Challenge Series against Argentina at Twickenham on November 14.

Nike’s new change kit for 2009/10 is launched today, drawing on inspiration from the iconic purple tracksuit jacket worn by England players in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

The RFU and Nike collaborated on the new design and the purple kit has been roundly applauded for the traditions it evokes.

England’s youngest ever captain Will Carling said: “Purple for me makes me think about when I first played for England.  I remember when I played England school boys and you got the purple tracksuit, and that was it.  It was just wow.  For me, the colour purple means England Rugby.”

Current England captain Steve Borthwick is looking forward to pulling on the jersey for the first time and said: “The purple kit looks striking and really stands out.  I associate the colour purple with the late 1980’s and early 90’s, one of the golden era’s of the English game. 

“As a kid I remember seeing heroes such as Will Carling, Rory Underwood and Jerry Guscott lining up for the national anthem wearing the purple tracksuit.  That emotion, that pride and spirit is ever present within the squad to this day.  I have no doubt that the players will be as motivated and proud as ever taking to the pitch wearing this new kit.”

The innovation and technology in the new change kit mirrors that of the latest white home kit which, weighing in 27 per cent lighter than in previous seasons, is designed to give the team every possible advantage on the pitch.

Tight fitting rugby apparel was introduced by Nike in 2003 in a bid to help reduce the opportunity to be tackled via the shirt, and this season sees further innovations to improve the fit of the apparel.  The ergonomically designed jersey, with underarm sleeve panels gives players complete freedom of movement combined with an optimised fit and comfort.

The new Nike England rugby change kit is on sale from November 2, 2009. Fans can pre-order from October 29, 2009 from the RFU Direct website.

Leo Sandino-Taylor, Head of Communications, Nike UK & Ireland said: “The need to produce a change strip for the visit of Argentina gave us great opportunity to really look at England’s proud rugby history and create a design that would inspire the players and fans.”

Tickets are still available to see England play Argentina at Twickenham on November 14, please see the England v Argentina event page to buy tickets.