After all the controversy and bad feeling in New Zealand about England’s all black away strip, one would think that the last thing the team would do would be to entrust the printing of the shirts to a New Zealand company.
During the England versus Argentina world cup match the numbers of the backs of the shirts mysteriously peeled off, an offence for which the team may be fined if it happens again. Is this performance failure plain old karma, utu or just an unfortunate coincidence?
The story was picked up by the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, who said
“The white numbers, applied by a local company in New Zealand, failed to bond properly on the black jerseys and began to rub off during England’s opening victory over Los Pumas.
Rugby World Cup Ltd have said they will be seeking assurances from England that there will be no repeat in Sunday’s Pool B encounter with Romania.
A lack of clear shirt numbers breaches the tournament participation agreement.
It is not just fans and broadcasters who need clear numbers but also referees, touch judges and anti-doping officers in order to identify players.
An England spokesman would not confirm whether they plan to use the same printing firm this week, but he insisted they were addressing the problem…” more here
Before the match kicked off a Maori elder had called for revenge against the England team, for having the effrontery to wear black shorts and shirts:
“David Ellison, a Maori elder and descendant of the man responsible for the All Black jersey, has urged Argentina to exact revenge on England in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup opener.
England will be wearing their controversial black change kit against the Pumas, which Ellison believes is disrespectful to the tournament hosts, New Zealand. In 1893, Ellison’s great uncle Tom Ellison recommended the New Zealand Rugby Football Union adopt a black jersey with a silver fern.
Ellison has told the Otago Daily Times that he will declare the Argentina ambassador, the Pumas team and all their supporters to be honorary members of the Maori community.
“I believe this would provide the Pumas with the kaha [strength] to match the black English jersey and allow those unhappy with Nike’s choice of colour to be bonded to the Pumas, who, in turn, will have the added edge to exact utu [revenge] on our behalf,” Ellison said. “I don’t think the English team realise how important the black jersey is to us. We are not blaming the team, we are blaming the suppliers who we believe chose that colour as a marketing ploy.”… more here
Maybe in a round about way he got what he wished for, although it did nothing to alter the final outcome of the match in the slightest.
You can read more about the black-shirt-stoush in our blog Black is the new white, England’s rugby shirt a challenge
If you’re in New Zealand to watch the rugby you may also be interested to read our blog Rugby world Cup visitors to be spammed