Whether you’re running out on the pitch or relaxing in the clubhouse afterwards, these are the best rugby shirts to support your team
Best rugby shirts 2021
If you really want to look your best at training, then your common or garden replica jersey just won’t cut the mustard. This is where ‘Test’ and ‘pro fit’ jerseys come in.
Now, as anyone who has watched rugby in the last two decades will know full well, modern on field rugby shirts are a far, far cry from the baggy cotton jerseys of yore. Even standard polyester replica jerseys these days feature a snug fit that often doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination, and if you go for the proper Test jerseys that are exact replicas of what the players wear on field, that’s even more the case. If you don’t have the physique of a pro athlete, you might want to size up a little!
If you want something a little more forgiving, you’d be better off with our round-up of the best classic rugby jerseys, but if you want to have the look that reflects what the players are wearing on the pitch, these are the best rugby shirts for you.
Best rugby shirts 2021
Umbro England Rugby 2020/21 Home Replica
+ Looks very similar to version worn by the pros
+ Looser fit for comfort
+ Multi-layered tonal pattern adds depth to classic England look
After seven years with rugby mainstay Canterbury, England jumped ship to British kit supplier Umbro for the Autumn Internationals – Umbro might be more famous for the company’s long soccer pedigree, but the brand has a long history with rugby, having supplied various test teams in the 70s and 80s, including the British & Irish Lions.
Their first England shirt is as clean and classic as you’d expect, and this shirt is a close cousin of what Owen Farrell and co will be wearing this Autumn, right down to the multi-layered tonal pattern of the body fabric.
- Buy now from Umbro for £70
- Buy now from England Rugby Store for £70
- Buy now from Lovell Rugby for £70
Macron Wales 2020/21 Home Replica
+ Dragon motif and hexagonal pattern just like pro shirt
+ WRU ‘shield’ badge just like test jerseys
+ Relaxed fit compared to test design
Another brand with a new kit supplier for 2020/21, Wales ended their 12-year association with Under Armour over the summer, and have switched to Italian brand Macron in a seven-year deal.
The new shirt drew comparisons with Liverpool’s current home shirt, but that hasn’t stopped fans proclaiming it one of the nicest Wales shirts in years – beware Macron’s sizing, however, you’ll definitely want to size up.
Canterbury Ireland Pro Home
+ 3D Injection Moulded IRFU crest
+ Vapodri fabric offers excellent moisture wicking
+ Stretch collar for improved comfort
Ireland recently signed a new long-term deal with Canterbury, who they have been with since 2016, and marked the occasion by revealing the brand new home jersey that the men in green will wear as they chase another Six Nations title.
The shirt features a striking black and green pattern across the body, which is said to represent “strength, power and unity” and continues the trend of recent Irish jerseys being some of the most bold and unconventional in the test arena.
Macron Scotland 2020/21 Replica Home
+ Gold touches celebrate first international match
+ Tartan pattern on lower back
+ Modern take on classic collar
Macron and Scotland have been together since 2013, and in that time the brand has provided the men in blue with some of the most ‘classic’ looking test designs that we’ve seen in many a year, and the 2020/21 version is no exception.
With a classic fold-over collar reinvented for the modern era and the classic blend of blue and white, it could be a shirt from a bygone age, and that’s with good reason – the flashes of gold on sleeves and collar placket are there to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first ever international rugby match, which was held between England and Scotland in 1871.
Macron Italy 2020/21 Home Shirt
+ Tonal pinstriped pattern
+ Unique collar design
+ Subtle Italian flag motifs throughout
The Azzuri continually sport some of the best looking jerseys in all of rugby and their 2020/21 jersey is no exception, with the classic light blue jersey accented with white and subtle Italian flag touches on the back of the jersey and on the collar.
The shirt also features a striking and unique collar design, and a rather lovely subtle double-pinstriped pattern that runs through the front and back of the design.
Adidas New Zealand All Blacks 2019/20 Home Shirt
+ Iconic ABs look
+ Unique ‘triaxle’ grip effect
+ Subtle low-profile white half-collar
The All Blacks jersey is the most iconic design in rugby, and one of the most instantly recognisable in sport, and as such long-term kit supplier Adidas doesn’t mess around too much with the formula… at least on the surface.
But the really clever stuff is under the hood, where the All Blacks get the full benefit of the R&D department of the world’s second biggest sportswear brand to create what is very likely the most advanced rugby shirt on the planet. Adidas’ uses a unique ‘triaxle’ fabric for ultimate strength and comfort on the player shirt, and here it’s reflected in some very subtle triaxle patterning on the front that has a premium 3D effect.
Le Coq Sportif France 2020/21 Replica
+ Retro FFR logo
+ Two-tone effect
+ Tricolore touches
France’s stylish 2020/21 home jersey comes straight from French sporting institution Le Coq Sportif, and the brand certainly has a different take on rugby shirt design than many other suppliers. Note the interesting two-fabric approach giving the shirt its two-tone effect for example.
It’s also unbelievably stylish, from the subtle tricolore striping that runs down one sleeve, the diagonal stitching down the side vents, or indeed that gloriously retro FFR crest, this certainly stands out from the crowd.
Canterbury 2021 British & Irish Lions Pro Rugby Shirt
+ The official 2021 Lions jersey
+ Low-profile collar
+ Patterned sleeves
We might not know what it looks like yet, but there’s no doubt the most essential item for Lions fans ahead of the forthcoming 2021 tour of South Africa is of course, the Lions on field jersey.
We might not be sure what it’s going to look like exactly yet, but we know a few things – it’ll be red and white, it’ll be made by Canterbury, as with the 2017 jersey, and it’ll have new sponsor Vodafone on the front. Beyond that? Well the teaser that the Lions posted in advance of the jersey launch shows off a very low-profile white collar, and an interesting textured pattern on the shoulders. Other than that, we’re in the dark – but that doesn’t mean you can’t preorder it to ensure you’re the first to get your hands on it!
Gilbert Barbarians 2020 Player’s Edition Jersey
+ Iconic hooped design
+ Authentic on-field look
+ BaBaas values sleeve detail
The Barbarians concept is one of the most unique and wonderful things about rugby union, and the invitational side’s swashbuckling style has created some of the most memorable and exhilarating moments in the history of the sport.
Still going strong, The Baa-Baas are currently supplied by Gilbert and this replica jersey brings a modern twist on the classic Barbarians hooped design – a lovely touch is the legend, ‘Flair, Courage, Spirit, Passion’ on the sleeves. The Barbarians ethos in a nutshell.
That completes our round-up of the best rugby shirts of 2020.
Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Please follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.