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Dublin: 9°C Sunday 18 April 2021

South Africa's World Cup jersey is all style, science and very little Springbok

It’ll be the second nicest green jersey in England this autumn.

MOST PRESS RELEASES are dull as dishwasher, but when one comes in to us with a subheading that reads ‘Technical Detail – Socks’, we know we’ve scrolled down too fast and need to take this seriously.

11406487_10153001540409576_320257658053769476_o Source: Springboks/Facebook

South Africa have launched their jersey for this year’s Rugby World Cup and it’s a shining collarless example of man’s victory over synthetic material.

As was the case in the 2011 World Cup, it’s just missing one thing: the Springbok has been moved from the chest to the arm.

Here’s Jannie du Plessis loving his now outdated November 2014 jersey.

Jannie du Plessis celebrates after his side scored their third try Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Along with some additional yellow on the sleeve, the new kit has some grip lines around the chest and looks much more streamlined than previous Springbok jerseys. That brings them into line with the figure-hugging jerseys the rest of the world have been embracing since England lifted the William Webb Ellis trophy.

Hold on though, because apparently this jersey is not a jersey at all. It’s ‘the culmination of months of hard work by scientists’ in Asics’ very own institute of sport in Kobe, Japan, with technical updates to make it the lightest ‘Bok jersey yet at 70 grams.

Amazing, we know. Here’s what you need to know about those technically superior socks: the previous foot and calf covers were just regular old graduated compression socks. NOW, they’ve been transformed with a ‘cotton footbed’ which has the knock-on effect of improving blood flow, reducing fatigue and blisters.

Bless their cotton socks.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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