Canterbury, has unveiled its ‘Since 1888’ collection following their recent partnership with the British and Irish Lions as Official Apparel Partner for the 2017 New Zealand Tour.
The ‘Since 1888’ range takes inspiration from the birth of the ‘Lions’, or ‘The British Isles Rugby Union’ as they were known as in 1888.
The collection, which consists of four pieces, includes two long-sleeve rugby jerseys, featuring the original British and Irish Lions crest. Each jersey follows the original colour palette which has been replicated to stay true to the British and Irish Lions heritage. Both jerseys adorn traditional hoops influenced by past designs and are complemented by design features and detailing synonymous with Canterbury.
We reviewed the long-sleeve 'classic' shirt with featuring bold heritage hoops. The first thing that strikes you is the weight of the garment, it's substantial, none of these new age synthetic material nonsense... it harps back to the early days of rugby, staying relatively true to those iconic vintage jerseys (although I wouldn't like an 80mins shift in it!).
As aesthetic and cutting edge as the more recent rugby shirts are on the market, you need to be in relatively good shape or confident enough not to care that you're being squeezed out of your own shirt. This is where the replica shirt market comes into its' own, and this collection in particular. A great balance with comfort, style, and a great flagship for parading your club/countries colours.
Irish fans might be a little disheartened with the fact that Canterbury has stuck religiously to the fact that Ireland were not originally present at the time (in 1888) and have left them out of the colour palette, although the hooped polo has the addition of green.
Overall, the shirt is a very comfortable, heavy-duty and a functional top to wear at any rugby outting, especially with the typical British chill present at most games during the season. It cold get a touch warm if you're lucky enough to be going to New Zealand next year, but if that's your biggest worry then you're doing alright. The price is a touch on the expensive side (around £70-80) but some of that price can been seen in the well-crafted fit and the quality of the cotton materials used...A decent shirt to wear on game-day, and if you can push that little bit extra on price, aswell as being a great homage to the history of the Lions, it's worth it.
Find it here: Canterbury 1888 Lions Collection