With the Rugby World Cup Sevens taking place at the end of July in San Francisco, there’s never been a better time to get excited about the non-stop action that rugby sevens just so very well. The sevens don’t just catch the eye because of the play on the field, however – the shorter form of the game has also become famous in recent years for the bold and exciting shirts that the teams wear.
San Francisco is sure to showcase some memorable new designs when the World Cup Sevens rolls into town, but in the meantime, here are the top 10 greatest rugby sevens jerseys ever…
10. Kenya 2017
Kenya are one of the World Rugby Sevens series’ most dangerous and exciting teams, and they’ve also worn one of the circuit’s most interesting and cleverly thought through jerseys, too. The patterns on the sleeve and body are done in a way that apes the traditional Kenyan pointillist style of body art, forming a Kenyan flag on the sleeve, and a lion on the body – cool, clever and striking.
9. France 2015
France have often flattered to deceive in the World Rugby Sevens, but Adidas certainly didn’t disappoint with their 2015 home jersey – with jagged crystalline icicles in red and blue jutting across both shoulders, the look was stylish, eccentric, and very French.
8. Russia 2014
Russia might not be one of the leading lights of the World Rugby Sevens circuit, but they made their presence felt back in 2014 thanks to a stunning design from Canterbury. The classic red jersey is elevated by the presence of a multicolored diagonal pattern that’s made out of the red, white and blue of the Russian flag.
7. Team GB 2016
The Rio 2016 Olympics was notable for seeing rugby return to the games for the first time in nearly 100 years. The occasion was also marked by Great Britain selecting a rare combined sevens team for the games, who not only went on to win a surprising silver medal in the men’s tournament, but also did so wearing a striking Adidas design, complete with heraldic crest and union jack.
6. South Africa 2017
The Blitzboks have been one of the most consistently successful teams on the World Rugby Sevens series in recent years, and go into the World Cup as one of the favourite teams. The Blitzbokke have also developed a reputation for truly daring jerseys in this time, and perhaps none more than this fascinating geometric design, which if you look closely is made up of loads of angular springboks.
5. Scotland 2016
Scotland have become a more potent force in the shortened form of the game in recent seasons, and they’ve marked this fact by donning some of the Series’ most crowd pleasing jersey designs. The classic blue shirt here is accented with red and gold pinstripes, designed to represent the colours of Scotland’s lion rampant secondary flag.
4. Argentina 2015
Nike have consistently created some beautiful jerseys for Argentina’s 15s and sevens teams over the last six years, but perhaps none of them are quite as beautiful as this alternate sevens jersey. With it’s wonderfully unique black and pink motif, complete with pink puma spot pattern down the sides, it’s clean, classy, yet totally out there.
3. Fiji Olympics 2016
Fiji won their first ever Olympic gold medal as a nation when they triumphed in the men’s sevens tournament at Rio 2016, and they did so wearing a truly beautiful jersey, which features traditional Fijian ‘tapa’ across the shoulders and a subtle depiction of a traditional Fijian breastplate across the chest.
2. USA 2013
One of the most beloved and memorable sevens jerseys ever, the Eagles’ 2013 shirt, produced by Canterbury, goes full ‘Captain America’ with its wonderful star-spangled sleeves, but also manages to be a rugby shirt covered in stars that is both classy and tasteful – no mean feat, and one of the best USA jerseys ever.
1. England 2011
The shirt that started it all – until England decided to break the mould back in 2011, sevens jerseys weren’t really all that wild or different to the norm. Then Nike came along with the infamous ‘tequila sunrise’ jersey and soon everyone was coming out with their own boundary-pushing take on this hugely memorable orange and black number. But this is the original, and for many people, it still epitomises everything that makes rugby sevens jerseys fun, unique and unconventional.