SCOTLAND have gone back to the style of the 1980s and ’90s with their new strip design in what the SRU stated was an attempt to inspire the nation to emulate the success of teams from 30 years ago.
The traditional Scotland strip was unveiled at a fashion show at Archerfield Golf Club in East Lothian. It added to the air of optimism returning to Murrayfield after a tumultuous end to last season, where Edinburgh’s poor showing and the delayed appointment of Scotland’s head coach Vern Cotter and Edinburgh’s new chief, this week confirmed as Alan Solomons, left supporters wrestling with uncertainty.
Looking at the new jersey, SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said he hoped it would mark the start of a new era and one that would draw on the inspiration of the 1984 and 1990 Grand Slam teams. “We’re going back to that legacy,” he said. “We talked a lot about how Scotland sides of the past were successful in the amateur era, and this is a real nod towards that – the halcyon days of Scottish rugby with a twist of modernism to show the good times are not too far away.
“There were a lot of things in the air that had to be nailed down [at the end of last season] but I knew that we were in the process of getting the right people in the right places, and everything seems to have happened in the last month.
“Alan is an experienced guy and we waited for him for a long time, but also, with respect, waited for the Super Rugby to finish. He comes with the experience that I think we need to rebuild a culture. I’ve been speaking to senior guys like Greig Laidlaw, Ross Ford, Sean Cox and they are ready to put last season behind them and get a fresh start and Alan coming next week will start pushing that forward.”
He confirmed that while Edinburgh and Glasgow would be held to player spending budgets of £4.2 million, extra funding was available and efforts ongoing to sign what he termed “marquee players” for the capital side to provide the impetus injected to Glasgow by Sean Maitland, Josh Strauss and Niko Matawalu.
Sponsorship and ticket sales for the Autumn Tests, and merchandise sales, will all play key roles in funding those signings, hence Dodson’s desire to see the new jersey flood streets in the coming weeks.
Labelled “a classic reborn” by the new Italy-based kit suppliers Macron, the shirt is navy blue with a small white collar, and the traditional thistle that featured on the 1990 Grand Slam-winning jersey will be embossed on the back. Scotland rugby supporter Stuart Gray, who lives in Edinburgh, won the competition to design the jersey and was flown to Macron’s Bologna base to see the strip being made.