IN PICTURES: Another new Bok kit, another debate
SPOTLIGHT: South Africa will play in their third different jersey at the World Cup, when they face off against Ireland in a crunch Pool B match in Paris on Saturday.
New colour blindness guidelines, in operation at the World Cup, have increased the number of occasions on which one of the competing teams is required to wear an alternative jersey.
The Springboks have three sets of kits at the global showpiece – their traditional Green and Gold (worn against Romania this past weekend), along with alternative kits of hyper-jade and white (worn against Scotland in Round One) and white with a hyper-jade collar (to be worn against Ireland at Stade de France.
The alternative kits have stirred up some vigorous debates and indignant responses.
The Boks – players and management alike – are doing their best to take a neutral stance.
However, the Green and Gold remains ‘first choice’ when there’s not a clash of colours.
South Africa’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus said they will abide by the World Rugby colour blindness guidelines.
He confirmed that the much-maligned hyper-jade version is the idea of the kit sponsor – who wanted to give the alternative jersey a “modern design’, drawing on various influences in a new combination to appeal to a new and wider audience.
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“It was presented to senior Springboks, who gave it their seal of approval,” a team spokesman said.
Erasmus sang from the same hymn sheet as the players did before the Scotland game.
“We as a Springbok team know we represent our country,” the SARU boss said.
“The Springbok is also on the jersey and we are the Springboks.
“We do understand that some people like it and some don’t.
“If you ask the younger generation, they love it.
“If you ask the older generation, they say: ‘A lot of tradition go out the window’.
“We as players, coaches and management just get on with the job.
“We play in the white jersey this week, we are playing for South Africa and that is the most important thing.”