The All Blacks strip for the 2019 Rugby World Cup has been revealed. And yes, it's black.
The latest jersey was unveiled at an Adidas store in Auckland this morning.
The jersey pays homage to both Maori and Japanese cultures.
As with previous Rugby World Cup jerseys, the RWC trophy is embossed on the right sleeve acknowledging the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup successes in 1987, 2011 and 2015. The RWC2019 logo is on the right of the chest, which sees the adidas badge move to the centre of the jersey. The All Blacks silver fern logo remains on the left-hand side of the jersey, while the all black collar returns for the Rugby World Cup.
The All Blacks also unveiled a blue training jersey.
The strip was designed by Y-3, the collaboration label between adidas and legendary Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto.
Yamamoto, who is world renowned for his striking, avant-garde designs, said: "We wanted to create a jersey that brought together the Japanese and Maori cultures. The design bears hand-drawn koru and fern motifs in a celebration of Maori culture. It has been a privilege to work on such a major project and I wish the team the best of luck in the tournament."
New Zealand Rugby's Kaihautu (Maori Advisor) Luke Crawford, who gave adidas advice on Maori design, said: "The fern design represents the legacy of those players who have worn the jersey in the past, while the unfurling koru represents the younger players coming through - the All Blacks of the future. I think Y-3 have really captured the mauri (essence) of what the All Blacks jersey stands for and how it represents us, and created a truly beautiful garment."
Taking on the innovative design of the most recent All Blacks jersey, the key technological elements of the RWC2019 design include the use of seamless, woven technology. The jersey's construction was fully automated which aims to provide an unparalleled fit, strength and speed, and is 25 percent lighter than previous designs.
All Blacks Captain Kieran Read said: "We're all really excited ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan. It's always special pulling on the All Blacks jersey, and to wear one that has used our culture to inspire the design will be especially cool. On behalf of the team, I want to thank the Y-3 team for all their work on the jersey."
The fusing of Maori and Japanese design aesthetics also extends to the design of the training jersey the All Blacks will wear at Rugby World Cup 2019. Taking inspiration from the Maori concept of kaitiaki (guardianship) and the Japanese fuku neko (lucky cat), the Y-3 team has designed a mythical cat figure which will adorn the back of the training jersey. The training range also includes a performance tee, performance singlet, polo shirt and hoodie
The replica jersey, as well as the training range and supporters gear, will be available for fans to purchase from today including the All Blacks RWC2019 singlet (NZ$70), performance tee (NZ$80), polo shirt ($NZ90), replica RWC jersey ($110 youth size, $150 adult) and RWC high-performance jersey (NZ$200).
The All Blacks begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa in Yokohama on September 21. Their first test of the season is later this month against Argentina in Buenos Aires. The squad for that game will be announced tomorrow night.