The Māori All Blacks are preparing for their test match with the British and Irish Lions in Rotorua on Saturday, June 17 and on today the team and adidas unveiled the jersey the team will wear in the match and for the remainder of 2017.
The jersey is inspired by well-respected leader of the Te Arawa people, Mita Hikairo Mohi and designed by New Zealand Rugby Kaumātua Luke Crawford and renowned Māori artist Dave Burke.
The all black jersey features a black graphic design on the front, back, and sleeves of the jersey. Each element of the tattoo like graphic has a spiritual meaning.
“When the Māori All Blacks take to the field, they are warriors. The warrior stance on the front of the jersey reflects this and serves two purposes,” Burke explained. “Firstly, it is an intimidating tribute to New Zealand’s history and one of the most prominent elements for opponents when seeing the jersey for the first time, and secondly, it connects the wearer to the spiritual realm, reminding them that they are not walking alone.”
The back of the jersey features the four-eyed head of the taiaha.
“With four eyes looking in all directions, the taiaha offers spiritual protection to the players, providing a watchful eye over the wearer at all times,” Crawford added. “The intricately patterned arms represent whakapapa and connectedness to each player’s whānau and iwi. We have a responsibility to our family, our people and to New Zealand every time we take to the field, and we will wear this jersey with pride and strength in our hearts, knowing that we are representing them every time we do so.”
The sides of the jersey feature spear shaped fighting clubs a subtle nod to the traditional Māori fighting art of mau taiaha.
The jersey is topped off with a modern looking barbos collar and solid black panel on the top of the shoulders. The adidas iconic 3-Stripes, also in black, are placed over the shoulder from back to front. The sleeve cuffs are solid black.
The Māori All Blacks silver fern logo is over the heart and the adidas Performance logo is on the right chest. AIG sponsorship logo is on the front of the jersey.
The Māori All Blacks famously won the last time they faced the British and Irish Lions back in 2005.
What do you think about the Māori All Blacks 2017 rugby jersey? Very bold and makes a statement but does it hit the right notes? Leave your comments below.
Shop the adidas Maori All Blacks 17/18 home rugby jersey at WorldRugbyShop.com.