All Blacks to get new jersey

THE All Blacks will reveal a new jersey for the 2011 season in their opening Tri Nations test on July 30, the New Zealand Rugby Union announced today.

The new Adidas jersey, which has been designed and tested in conjunction with several senior All Blacks including captain Richie McCaw, will be unveiled for the first time when the All Blacks take the field against South Africa at Wellington's Westpac Stadium.

The jersey design has been a well-guarded secret and all McCaw will say about the jersey is that "it is revolutionary and also respectful to the All Blacks' long and proud history."

"It's not change for change's sake. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to rugby and fans can rest assured that it still looks like a rugby jersey. It's still an All Blacks jersey that you're proud to hold up and proud to run out and wear," he added.

The other players involved in the development of the jersey include Dan Carter, Andrew Hore, Brad Thorn, Conrad Smith, Mils Muliaina and Keven Mealamu.

The All Blacks strip has relatively remained the same since Adidas took over as the jersey maker in 1999 when the white collar was removed for an all black look.

Adidas Country Manager David Huggett says the jersey will contain a "visible difference".

"We are mindful that the people of New Zealand own the All Blacks jersey. Although there will be a visible difference in the All Blacks jersey this year, the change will be respectful to its 127-year legacy," he said.

"The 2011 jersey will again raise the bar for both technology and design," says David Huggett. "This year New Zealand rugby takes a big step into the international limelight, so it is fitting that the jersey should take a leap forward in its long evolution."

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