In a move which will bring joy to New Zealand rugby traditionalists and those with a liking for the neat and tidy, the All Blacks have agreed to pull their socks up - but only during pre-test national anthems.
Still, the agreement by the players to adhere to the request by management is seen as a major breakthrough by those close to the team.
The New Zealand Rugby Union has for years received dozens of complaints after test matches due to All Blacks wearing their socks around their ankles rather than just below their knees. Of the current team, fullback Israel Dagg, halfback TJ Perenara and prop Owen Franks are among the worst "offenders".
All three are in the match-day squad for tomorrow morning's test against England at Twickenham, the first of the All Blacks' three-test tour of the United Kingdom, and all three must adhere to the new uniform standard during God Save the Queen and God Defend New Zealand.
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The All Blacks will tomorrow wear their new jersey, shorts and socks for the first time in a test. All three items of clothing are made of high-tech fabric designed by manufacturers adidas to give them an advantage over their opponents.
Coach Steve Hansen's players had a hand in the design of the clothing which will be worn in next year's World Cup.
The socks are made of a compression material, which is said to aid blood flow and muscle recovery in the lower legs, however the company yesterday said it had no view about how the players wore the new kit, including the socks.
"We don't mind if the jersey is tucked into the shorts, or whether the socks are down," said Quentin Bleakley, the country manager of adidas New Zealand. "Whatever makes them feel comfortable is important."
Bleakley, who was part of the new jersey launch at the team's London hotel during the week, agreed the socks would not exert the compressive qualities if they were worn around the ankles.