Pirates' senior rugby team is facing the prospect of a nude alternative strip after its playing kit was stolen at the weekend.
The team returned from a win over Crescent Rugby Club in Kaitangata about 11pm on Saturday and parked the club's van outside the clubrooms in John Wilson Ocean Dr.
''Some of the boys came back about 10am the next day and found the [van's] window jemmied open,'' club chairman Conrad Stedman said.
''There were some balls in there and they have been kicked all over the paddock and car park and the playing kit was taken.''
He estimated the cost of the more than 30 stolen jerseys would be at least $2500. That did not include the cost of replacing the stolen shorts and socks.
Mr Stedman, who plays for the senior team, said the club was short of alternative kits and would like the gear returned before this weekend.
''It would be nice if we can get it back, or the boys are going to play in the nude on Saturday and have to paint themselves black,'' he quipped.
If someone returned the kit, they would be offered amnesty.
He also had a message for the thieves.
''If they are that interested, they can come and play rugby and put the kit on,'' he said.
The jerseys would be easily recognisable and not commonly seen on the street.
The jerseys are black with pirate emblems. Mr Stedman found it hard to understand why anyone would want to take the ''smelly'' kit.
He asked anyone with information to contact him or return the gear by Thursday, no questions asked.
A Dunedin police spokesman said anyone with information about the theft or who saw anything suspicious in the St Kilda area late on Saturday or early on Sunday should contact Dunedin police on 471 4800.
Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The kit can be returned to the Pirates Rugby Football Club by contacting Conrad Stedman on 021 311 551.