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The 1990’s was a decade where classic rugby shirt design crashed into the 1990’s fashion urge to update, expand, and innovate…it produced some interesting results at times, but it also produced some of the coolest, most memorable jerseys ever. Here are some of the best…

 

Bath Away 1996

 

Bath Rugby Jersey 1996

 

The Bath classic recipe of black, white and blue hoops was turned on its head in 1996, and the result was a cracking shirt that the club wore for their Pilkington Cup final victory that season. The Cotton Oxford design was a plain white affair with two pairs of thick black and blue stripes framing the club crest. Very cool.

 

Auckland Blues 1996

 

Auckland Blues rugby jersey 1996

 

The early days of the Super 12 was an interesting time for rugby kits. With the dark blue and white halved shirt broken up with a very distinctive pinstriped grey, white and blue band that runs around the middle, it feels modern without being over the top.

 

Ulster Away 1999

 

Ulster rugby jersey 1999

 

Ulster’s Heineken Cup victory over Colomiers in 1999 is probably the greatest moment in the history of the province – it’s interesting then that they won that game in Dublin not wearing their normal all-white strip, but this unconventional red change shirt with white double hoops around the sleeves.

 

Stade Francais Home 1998

 

Stade Francais rugby jersey 1998

 

Stade’s ascent to the top of French rugby in 1998 was carried out wearing one of the most unconventional and influential shirts of the 90s – with the blue shirt resplendent with eye-grabbing lightning bolts, it was unlike anything else in the rugby world at that time. This ASICS design can be credited with kickstarting the craze for out-there rugby jerseys

 

Swansea Home 1999

 

Swansea rugby jersey 1999

 

The All Whites haven’t always been that all-white in their history, and 1999 was a case in point. The maroon strip across the shoulders contrasts really nicely with the thick and thin black stripes on the chest, and sticking the CCC logo in the centre works really well too.

 

Crusaders 1998

 

Crusaders rugby jersey 1998

 

In 1998, the Crusaders won the first of what would be six titles in the following decade wearing a rather interesting and unique spin on the classic red and black hoops of Canterbury. The single black pinstripe splitting up the larger red hoop creates a cool and individual look, while the shoulder area features jagged vaguely armour-like patterns.

 

Queensland Reds 1999

 

Queensland Reds rugby jersey 1998

 

For the vast majority of the team’s history, the Reds have played in shirts that are, well… red. However 1999 was different – and much more hoopy. Incorporating midnight blue and white alongside the primary colour, Canterbury opted for a Bath-style triple-hooped jersey that was completely unlike anything the Reds had worn before or since.

 

Cardiff Home 1996

 

Cardiff RFC rugby jersey 1996

 

Cardiff wore plenty of lovely shirts in the Nike era, but this one offers the fan-pleasing triple-whammy of being memorable, traditional and associated with some pretty good memories – namely the club’s appearance in the Heineken Cup final in 1996. It’s a gorgeous take on the blue and black hoops, with subtle pinstripes breaking up the blue. Class.

 

Munster Home 1999

 

Munster rugby jersey 1998

 

Just squeaking into the 90s by the skin of its teeth, this Canterbury shirt became one of the most beloved Munster shirts ever, with the classic red shirt accented by a dark blue shoulder yoke complete with thin white pinstripes.

 

Toulouse Home 1996

 

Toulouse rugby jersey 1996

 

That first Heineken Cup final in 1996 was quite the looker wasn’t it? Not content with Cardiff’s beautiful Nike shirt, winners Toulouse were also decked out in Nike, and their jersey was, if anything, even nicer. The black and red halves, divided by the pinstriped middle section, is so distinctive and original, it’s an all-time classic.

 

Leicester Away 1996

 

Leicester rugby jersey 1996

 

The Tigers classic green, white and red hoops are iconic in their own way, but this away shirt from 1996 puts a memorable twist on the formula, with a band of red, green and white running across the chest of a very fetching dark blue shirt.

 

Richmond FC Home 1997

 

Richmond rugby jersey 1997

 

Richmond were England’s first fully professional club, and one of its most historic – their rise to the Premiership was rapid and brief, but in that time they graced the league with one a shirt that’s a timeless hooped classics.

 

Wasps Away 1998

 

Wasps rugby jersey 1998

 

Wasps kept their classic black home shirt for much of the 90s, but when it came to the change shirts they tried some interesting things – this gold shirt with black and white middle band and classic diamond box numbers is one of the classics.

 

Toulouse European 1997

 

Toulouse rugby jersey 1997

 

The French aristocrats partnership with Nike certainly knew how to produce some great results, and this shirt worn for their defence of the Heineken Cup was another great example, with a red shirt paired with a black and white band around the middle.

Have Your Say…
What jersey do you love from the 1990’s that we missed. Leave your comments below.

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