History of the Australian Jersey
1899 - 1904
In 1899 the first Rugby test match was played by the national team. Because there was no national jersey, the Australian team wore the jersey of the State in which they were playing, but with an unofficial national Coat of Arms in place of the state emblem or logo. For the first and third tests in Sydney the jersey was the NSW blue and for the second test in Brisbane the jersey was the Queensland maroon.
In 1905 Australia toured New Zealand and wore striped maroon and blue jerseys, combining the colours of NSW and Queensland, featuring a Kangaroo on the left breast
In 1908 and 1912 the Australian jersey was effectively the NSWRU jersey - blue with the Waratah, but with 'Australia' embroidered beneath. NSWRU was the senior Union which would explain why their jersey was used as the national jersey. This jersey was worn on the first tour to Great Britain.
New Zealand toured Australia in 1914, playing an Australian team in blue in Sydney and in Queensland a team that worn the Maroon of Queensland with an ‘A’ on the right breast.
1914 Australian team which played New Zealand in Queensland
1920 – 1928
During WWI so many players enlisted that major competition virtually ceased. Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) was closed in 1914 and did not reform until 1928, so the only representative team which played during this time played in the NSW Jersey with the Waratah emblem. Although no official Australian matches were played the NSW matches were later given retrospective Wallaby status as they were the only Union still operating at the time, and the team often included Queenslanders
Jersey worn during this period was either blue or sky blue with Waratah on the breast
In 1928, with the re-establishment of Queensland Rugby, NSW and QLD Rugby Unions agreed that 'the Australian amateur representative colours of green and gold should be adopted'. In 1929 when New Zealand toured Australia, the first official Australian Jersey was introduced - an emerald green jersey with a white collar and the Australian Coat of Arms sewn on the left breast. The move to green did not receive unanimous support and was the topic of much debate. South Africa traditionally worn dark green and Australian representative sides previously had worn blue, a colour many felt was more emblematic of Australia.
During this period, variations to the green had to be worn to avoid clashing with opposing teams.
1931 Australian Jersey – the first official Australian Jersey
In 1933 when Australia toured South Africa for the first time, the Wallabies wore sky blue with the Australian Coat of Arms on a green background sewn on the left breast. Both countries played in dark green jerseys so the blue was worn to avoid confusion with the South Africans
When South Africa toured Australia in 1937, the Australian jersey was changed to white with green and gold hoops.
In 1938 when Australia played New Zealand, the Australian jersey was changed to gold with a dark green hoop, because it had been suggested that there was too much similarity between the dark green of Australia and the black of New Zealand.
For 1947-48 tour of Great Britain, the Australian Jersey had changed from an emerald green to a darker bottle green. By this time the jersey have changed from wool to cotton.
1947-48 Australian Jersey for the tour of Great Britain, Canada and France.
For the 1955 tour of New Zealand the Australian Jersey was a brighter green
1955 Jersey belonging to Ron Phelps
When South Africa toured Australia in 1956, Australia worn an all-white jersey.
For the tour to South Africa, to avoid a clash with the Springboks, Australia abandoned their green jump and for the first time wore gold. The Coat of Arms on a green background was sewn on the front of the jersey, while the white collar remained. They also changed from white shorts to green and worn green and gold striped socks.
After changing back to the green jersey for their final test against France, it was decided that the gold jersey would give the Australian side a distinct identity, and was adopted as the prominent Jersey colour and a new tradition was born.
1961 First Gold Jersey worn and signed by Ken Catchpole
When the Federal Government withdrew funding for Rugby, Adidas became the first major sponsors of the Wallabies. The 1978 Gold jersey now had a gold collar with the trademark three adidas stripes on the shoulders.
Some of the greatest of all the Wallabies, the Ella brothers, David Campese, Simon Poidevin, Nick Farr-Jones, Roger Gould and Michael Lynagh, all played with the three green Adidas stripes running across the shoulders of their gold jersey.
Canterbury sponsorship commenced in 1989 and until 1996.
The 1990 Wallaby jersey would have the Canterbury logo of ‘CCC’ on the left breast and the collars were now changed to green.
ARFU Logo was worn on the Jersey from 1991 - 1995
By 1993 the Canterbury logo had moved to the centre with the ARFU logo on the left breast. Sponsors logos, such as XXXX and Schweppes, displayed on the right sleeve
ARU Wallaby Logo was first used in 1996, the year rugby in Australia became a professional game. This logo was the official Australian Rugby Union logo.
Canterbury sponsorship comes to an end when Reebok offer an extra $1 million dollars. Condition of the deal was that Reebok wanted changes to the jersey. Marketing research had shown that the gold colour ‘did not sell as a garment’
Change of sponsorship to Reebok bought more changes to the Wallabies Jersey. It now had a white collar, green sleeves with a white and green slash on the right side. Reebok logo was in the centre and Schweppes logo on both sleeves and the collar.
Probably the most controversial of all the Wallaby jersey’s, it was seen as a move away from what had now become an iconic gold jersey. It was described by some critics as ‘an SBS test pattern’ and by Peter FitzSimons as ‘dogs vomit’.
1997 Jersey with green sleeves and white slash on breast
Vodafone become major sponsors in 1998 with Reebok as manufacturer. The jersey colour changed to a brighter gold with sponsorship ( Schweppes) logo disappearing from sleeves and collar, and now appearing across the front (Vodafone) but the design stayed the same.
Firs jersey to have sponsorship across the front which caused a great deal of controversy.
It was while wearing this jersey that John Eales lead the Wallabies to a 3-nil series clean sweep of the Bledisloe Cup tests
ARU has succumbed to public pressures and discarded the bitterly criticised Test jersey used during the past tow years. The mixed reaction to the Test jersey had prompted the ARU and the jersey’s manufacturer, Reebok, to have a rethink.
Australian squad was consulted on the design of the jersey introduced to replace the controversial jersey of the last two years. Prompted by public demand the jersey moved back towards the much loved solid gold jersey, though with a green band with thin white edging on both sleeves. Still sponsored by Reebok, it also has the traditional coast of arms on the left breast and the Wallaby logo on the right.
Southern Cross appears on the jersey for the first time. Made by Reebok with Vodafone as major sponsor, the jersey has white collar, yellow sleeves with green and white hoops.
This is the first time the Southern Cross was featured on the jersey and was worn for the first time when Australia played Ireland in June 1999. O’Neill ( CEO of ARU) said the new jersey was an embodiment of Australian rugby’s heritage and future.
This jersey design would be worn to the 1999 Rugby World Cup, with the IRB logo on the right breast and sponsorship removed from the front. John Eales would be pictured holding the William Ellis trophy aloft while wearing this jersey.
1999 Centenary Jersey
Special Limited Edition jersey worn by the Wallabies in Centenary Test against England on June 26th 1999. This match is also the first match played at Stadium Australia. It includes Australia’s original Coat-of-Arms, which differs from the current crest in a number of ways. The Kangaroo and Emu are on opposite sides, while the centrepiece is the Cross of St. George with a six pointed star. The Coat of Arms is larger giving it a special touch. On the right side is the new Wallaby Centenary emblem.
The jersey is a replica of the one Australia wore in 1899 when they played their first official test against the British rugby team on tour
2000 - 2002
The 2000 jersey is the same design as 1999 but the manufacturer has changed from Reebok to Canterbury once again. The Jersey also features embroidered images of the three trophies which the Wallabies won in 2000:
- Bledisloe Cup,
- Mandela Plate
- Tri-Nations Trophy.
The jersey design will stay the same, with the exception of the removal of the embroidered trophies, until 2003 when the Rugby World Cup would see a new Wallaby jersey.
Wallaby Rugby World Cup Jersey
Canterbury has introduced Coolmax fibres to make the jersey 25 per cent lighter and 10 per cent stronger
Grip dots made from special adhesive material added to frontrowers’ jersey to improve binding in scrums
New jersey more tapered than previous to reduce the chance of being grabbed. Unlike lycra-based jersey, it has limited stretch which makes it easier for players to break tackles
2003 RWC Jersey
“Zoned knit construction” involves a more open-knit design in higher sweat zpnes, like the underarms and chest, which improvise the breathability and evaporation of moisture in those areas and consequently has a cooling effect. lightweight and breathable synthetic material aimed at reducing the heat factor, and not body hugging. Canterbury produced a new fabric that lets the body breathe and gets the seat of the body rather than making the jersey heavy.
Featured a white slightly reduced ‘chinese’ collar
The jersey will have a sprig of Wattle embroidered on the sleeve near the Australian coat of arms to honour victims of the Bali bombings. This jersey will be worn for the RWC opening match against Argentina on October 10th 2003.
Gilbert ball has improved aerodynamics making ball 27 per cent more accurate and able to travel an average 1.8 metres further than other balls. Altered grip configuration equates to improve handling characteristics, especially in wet weather. Seam-in-bladder’ technology so instead of having a bladder which sits in the middle of the ball, it is stitched into the seams with an extra weight at the join. The ball spins which its kicked and it it weighted so its got more centrifugal force, it travel through the air truer and further
Socks - Coolmax fibres has also been used in the socks, helping to improve breathability and reduce moisture retention plus increased elasticity.
No sponsorship logos are allowed on Rugby World Cup jerseys.
The 2004 Jersey would be the first to feature Qantas as the major sponsor. It would also be a tighter, body hugging fit while maintaining the design features of 2003.
The hoops on the sleeves have gone and are replaced with green stripes under the arm and half way down each side. Qantas on the front has gone from white to black, and the manufacturer is still Canterbury whose logo ‘CCC’ remains on the front.
Another controversial design, the 2007 jersey was a slimfit jersey designed to give the Wallabies a performance edge. Featuring white rubber webbing running across the front and down the sleeve which was intended to define the abs and muscles but instead gave the impression of a man-bra.
The first Wallabies jersey from Kooga is nearly all gold with green piping and no collar. The green is supplied by the shorts and socks which are green with gold tops. The shorts have chamois on them to allow for the wiping of hands, while the socks are padded. Made from a lightweight synthetic fabric which increases performance by 4% and is virtually indestructible, the Southern Cross is embossed into the material on the front of the jersey .
Once again a predominantly gold jersey with green across the left shoulder, and the Coat of Arms, now on a green badge, sewn to the jersey rather than embroidered. A more vibrant gold than other years, the Southern Cross has remained on the front and the jersey which is also collarless. The new jersey is 25 per cent lighter and has plastic ‘grips’ on the front and a plastic ‘Qantas’ logo.
The first jersey design by new manufacturer Asic. The jersey features a white standup collar and has green trim on the sleeves and sides. The Southern Cross is now in green making it stand out against the gold of the jersey.
Made from lightweight water-resistant synthetic fabric which keeps players comfortable when playing in warm and cool conditions. It has a specially designed pocket at the back for a GPS tracking systems which are now used by most elite rugby teams. The ergonomic design gives players enhanced freedom of movement while maintaining the ultimate fit, making sure that the Wallabies can perform at their very best
ASICS has combined the best technical elements of the 2015 Rugby World Cup jersey including light weight fabric in traditional gold and a streamlined cut for a more tapered fit for players.
The 2016 jersey also features a new neckline with white piping to emulate the much loved traditional white collar of past jerseys, and silicon gripper pads on the front to enhance players' grip.
Second jersey by Asic. The jersey is basically all gold but has retained the white stand up collar at the back and the green strip at the front has been replace with a green v-neck.
The Southern Cross is now on the left sleeve in green plastic stars and the sleeves and neck are trimmed with white piping.
The Coat of Arms remains the same
Inside the back collar the ARU motto
‘Stronger as One’ is printed
Rather than a completely new design, ASICS has chosen to mark the third year of their association with the Wallabies with a refresh of the existing jersey. So, like last year’s jersey, we have the same collar design with the V-shaped placket at the front, and the same Southern Cross motif on the right shoulder. It even has the same piping pattern.
Last year we had white piping and a white stub collar, but this year they’re both the dark green, with the placket of the collar replaced with a rather natty green-outlined yellow insert.
2017 - First Indigenous Jersey
The jersey, which is produced by ASICS, is the first of its kind in international rugby. The Wallabies will wear their Indigenous jersey for the first time against the All Blacks on October 21 at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
Designed by artist Dennis Golding, the jersey features a Wallaby on the front and Fourteen symbols on the jersey serve to commemorate the communities of Australia's 14 Indigenous Wallabies - Cecil Ramalli, Lloyd McDermott, Mark, Glen and Gary Ella, Lloyd Walker, Andrew Walker, Jim Williams, Wendell Sailor, Timana Tahu, Anthony and Saia Faingaa, Beale and Matt Hodgson.
A new-look Qantas Wallabies jersey for the 2018 international season featuring a traditional twist on a modern design.
Asics, the official performance apparel and footwear partner of the Qantas Wallabies, have looked to the past to take the Wallabies into the future with subtle highlights of the new design reminding players and fans of great Wallabies teams of yesteryear.
The new strip will debut when the Qantas Wallabies run out for the first of three blockbuster Test matches on home soil against Ireland at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on June 9.
The 2018 jersey sees the return of a traditional collar construction as a nod to the teams of the late 80’s, while an embossed Southern Cross on the shoulder serves as reminder of the dominant Wallabies sides of the mid to late 90’s.
Combining a heritage look and feel with state-of-the-art construction features and fabric, the jersey is made with hard-wearing flatlock seams, strategically placed mesh panels, and high-performance body fabric.
Besides the iconic all-gold body, traditional elements such as embroidered logos and a woven Wallabies coat of arms badge have been retained on the new strip as the primary features of a Wallabies jersey which set it apart from the rest.