Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Colour problem for Rugby World Cup

Dear Bernard Lapasset Chairman of the International Rugby Board,
          This problem goes back years. Haven’t you noticed what has been going on right under your nose?
          It is so obvious that I can’t understand why you or any of your predecessors haven’t done anything about it.
         I’m not talking about the colour of the players or anything to do with racialism, although it does involve prejudice. And the people who have been and still are being prejudiced are the millions of rugby followers who watch the game.
          One minute the team they happened to be supporting is wearing black the next minute it is in white. Then when they see it again they are wondering is that really our team or has it been cloned.

How many teams do the All Blacks have at this year’s World Cup in New Zealand? I know they haven’t won the title since its inception 24 years ago, but that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to enter more than one team. Should they get this kind of special treatment and home advantage as well?
You’ve contrived to produce a whole lot of international rugby chameleons that change their colours from one match to the next.

The way you and your Board have organised things it seems that teams are entitled to go to their vast rugby wardrobes and pick out whatever colours they like for their next match. And if they happened to clash with those of the opposing team one or other of them has to do a quick change.
Surely you owed it to the paying rugby fans that keep the whole show on the road to be able to immediately recognise their teams, by the colours they wear, the minute they run onto the field.
Have any of you ever thought of getting all the rugby playing countries to register their colours and style of their kit with your Board on a first come first served basis? This would ensure there would never be any clash of colours and the fans would know exactly who was who.
In addition it would be possible to build national loyalty to a particular colour scheme. 
So far in the current World Cup matches I have seen England appeared in all black and all white in another game; Scotland in what looks like all black; New Zealand in its customary all black; France in all white and its more recognisable dark blue jerseys and black shorts and Georgia in all white and all red.
And when it comes to variations of red jerseys there are enough to confuse even the most ardent rugby followers. Russia wears red jerseys and white shorts; Japan has reds tops with a hardly noticeable white stripe and white shorts; Wales are in red jerseys and white shorts and so is Canada, although their jerseys have a small white panel in them.
If you wanted to sow confusion you’ve done a great job.

I’ve included a sample of some of the jerseys of the various teams and I’ll leave you to guess who they belong to.
          Have fun and let’s hope you can solve this baffling colour problem in time for the next World Cup in four years time.
Just remember that nothing is simply Black or White even in rugby and there are a lot more colours to play with.
          Jon, Rugby jersey manufacturer by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen.

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