The All Blacks have officially announced their new-look jersey, a return to the white collar.
Adidas and New Zealand Rugby today unveiled the jersey at a launch event in Tokyo.
According to Adidas, the kit is an advanced jersey of the future, with the collar being a nod to the All Blacks past.
Designed and manufactured over an 18-month period, a group of senior All Blacks gave input into the design and performance of the jersey, including Captain Kieran Read, Beauden Barrett, Samuel Whitelock and Sonny Bill Williams.
Adidas VP specialist of sports James Foster said the key element of the design was the use of seamless, woven technology – an industry first for a rugby jersey.
The jersey construction was fully automated which aimed to provide unparalleled fit, strength and speed and was 25 percent lighter than previous designs.
Another feature sure to please All Blacks traditionalists is the return of the white collar, last seen on the All Blacks jersey between 2011 and 2014, while finer details sees 3D logos and raw, elastic cuffs in the design.
"We're proud to deliver industry firsts, especially creating a fully automated, lightweight design for the All Blacks," Foster said.
"We continue to strive for a fit that mirrors a 'second skin', suitable for all athletes across the field. We have undergone rigorous fit and performance testing with key athletes over the last 18 months and we are confident that this release will deliver the best performance yet," he added.
"There's no doubt that the topic on everyone's mind will be the return of the white collar. We worked very closely with the players and New Zealand Rugby to reintroduce a well-respected and traditional element of the jersey. We're really happy with it and hope All Blacks supporters are too."
All Blacks Captain Kieran Read said: "I've been honoured to wear a few black jerseys in my career. There's a lot of amazing work that goes into the design and we're always excited to see where adidas takes its innovation when it comes to new technology and design. We enjoyed working alongside the adidas team to help create it and can't wait to wear it out on the field."
The new All Blacks jersey will make its debut in the Test against Japan in Tokyo on Saturday 3rd November 2018, with the team also wearing it on the rest of the Northern Tour.
It will be in use until Rugby World Cup 2019 (when a new All Blacks jersey will be launched) and then return for the 2020 All Blacks season.
The replica jersey will be available for fans to purchase from November 1 (RRP NZ$150).
The new All Blacks jersey – the detail
• In an industry first for a rugby jersey, the All Blacks jersey was made with seamless woven technology.
• The removal of the seams has eliminated weak points and reduced the overall weight of the jersey by 25 percent.
• The white collar is back - with a raw elastic fit for refined performance. The collar sits lower than normal, making it harder for opponents to grab and is clean bonded from the body for a minimalist style and fit.
• Designed and manufactured over an 18-month period with input on design and performance from group of senior All Blacks
• The jersey construction was fully automated which aimed to provide unparalleled fit, strength and speed.
• Zonal mechanical stretch, stability zones and a bonded hem further reduce material movement particularly during lineouts, scrums, mauls and other live match scenarios.
• Jersey seen on the field for the first time when the All Blacks play Japan on 3rd November.