The Springboks have confirmed that they will wear their third-choice, all-white jersey against Ireland in their Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool B encounter at Stade de France in Paris on Saturday, 23 September.
Kick-off is at 21:00 (SA time).
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The Springboks’ ‘hyper-jade and white’ strip – NOT aqua or turquoise or the official colours of Checkers – which they wore against Scotland in their opening match caused great unhappiness from both supporters and past players.
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That version won’t be worn this weekend on the basis that it is too similar to Ireland’s green.
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The alternative strips in use at this year’s Rugby World Cup is in line with World Rugby’s drive to allow colour blind fans to distinguish more easily between the teams.
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Such has been the controversy over the Springboks’ ‘jade’ jersey that it prompted SA Rugby to put out a media release on Monday afternoon.
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The media statement read:
- The Springbok primary jersey of green and gold is always worn as the first choice whenever permitted.
- On those occasions where a jersey clash must be avoided, the Springboks may be required to wear an alternate jersey.
- New colour blindness guidelines are in operation at the Rugby World Cup, which have increased the number of occasions on which one of the competing teams is required to wear an alternative jersey.
- South Africa was required to change for Scotland and will do so for the match against Ireland on 23 September.
- South Africa’s first alternate is hyper-jade and white; the second alternate is white with a hyper-jade collar. Replicas of the primary (green) and alternate (hyper-jade) have been produced for sale.
- The second alternate (all white) will be worn against Ireland as the hyper-jade is too like Ireland’s green jersey.
- Should the Springboks progress to the knockout stages of the competition, and if they are drawn as Team B against a team with a clashing colour the team will wear the hyper-jade alternate as the first option.
- Jerseys are designed by sports team apparel manufacturers and ultimately approved by the relevant federation.
- All the Nike jerseys provided to SA Rugby were presented to and received the seal of approval from a senior Springbok leadership group as well as SA Rugby management.
- The design of the hyper jade jersey was influenced by Ndebele design traditions and its colour – in addition to traditional white – was inspired by the colours of the flora and landscape of South Africa.
A spokesperson said: “The Springboks are not permitted to wear the green and gold jersey in every Test match – as much as we would like to. The alternative jersey colour is white, but Nike proposed enhancing the plain look with a modern design drawing on various influences in a new combination to appeal to a new and wider audience. It was presented to senior Springboks, who gave it their seal of approval.”
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