THE SRU may have won plaudits for its new rugby focus under chief executive Mark Dodson, but a new bold strip design aimed at attracting new supporters and money to rugby has sent some fans into a spin.
An advertising campaign has been launched around four key players, Ross Ford, David Denton, Tim Visser and Sean Lamont, and three of the quartet – Visser was busy with specialist training – were yesterday paraded in the new away strip. The colours are muted compared with the bizarre orange number of 1999, but, with a saltire splashed across the front and over the shoulders, supporters have been as quick to attack the Canterbury design.
The comments on
scotsman.com last night ranged from “chavtastic” to “very rugby League”, and “a hideous mess” to “awful”. “Try to imagine the casino scene in Dr No with Sean Connery playing James Bond in a baseball cap; this new Scotland rugby strip has the same effect”, was one comment, while another supporter insisted the players would look like “muppets” when they face the All Blacks at Murrayfield in the strip’s first outing on 11 November.
Another saw political overtones, stating: “Bit over the top with the saltires”, but it clearly divided opinion – with a few fans of the eye-catching design also.
One person delighted was ten-year-old Ryan Gallagher, a pupil at Longniddry Primary School, who had his picture taken in the kit with the strip models.
“I think it’s really good,” he said, “and much better than the last one.”
The SRU insisted that while the home kit will remain a traditional navy, the away top – “designed to bring to life the pride and passion synonymous with Scotland” – was aimed at new rugby supporters and youngsters as part of a wider marketing campaign.