For a jersey that is pretty simple, the All Blacks' strip seems to be constantly reinvented.

And for a jersey that is all black, you wonder how much tinkering of the famed rugby strip there can actually be.

Adidas, the German sportswear giant who have designed the All Blacks strip since taking over from Canterbury in 1999, have proven past masters at hyping even the most subtle of changes to the iconic strip.

They added a black Chinese collar in the first year of their sponsorship.

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Then in 2007, the German sponsors introduced a new "tight figure-hugging" strip which banished forever the baggy rugby jersey look.

In 2011, it was the re-introduction of the old white collar - which was met with a mixed reception from younger fans. The collar went back to black in 2014 in a strip promoted as the "blackest All Blacks jersey yet".

Frank Mitchinson's 100 year old All Black jersey.
Frank Mitchinson's 100 year old All Black jersey.
The All Blacks perform the haka during the 1991 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty Images
The All Blacks perform the haka during the 1991 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty Images
Jonah Lomu wearing the Steinlager sponsored jersey during a Bledisloe Cup Test in 1995. Photo / Getty Images
Jonah Lomu wearing the Steinlager sponsored jersey during a Bledisloe Cup Test in 1995. Photo / Getty Images
Josh Kronfeld wearing the 2000 version against South Africa. Photo / Getty Images
Josh Kronfeld wearing the 2000 version against South Africa. Photo / Getty Images
The grey alternative jersey worn during the 2007 Rugby World Cup will always have negative connotations after France upset the All Blacks in Cardiff. Photo / Getty Images
The grey alternative jersey worn during the 2007 Rugby World Cup will always have negative connotations after France upset the All Blacks in Cardiff. Photo / Getty Images
The All Blacks put sponsors AIG on the front of their jersey in 2012. Photo / File.
The All Blacks put sponsors AIG on the front of their jersey in 2012. Photo / File.
The 'blackest' All Blacks jersey.
The 'blackest' All Blacks jersey.

The white collar was brought back last season.

It was 2012 when new American sponsors AIG were introduced to the front of the jersey, upsetting purists and becoming the second corporate mark on the strip beyond Adidas.

There was a huge stir in 1995 when Kiwi brewers Steinlager appeared as the first corporate logo to appear on the jersey.

What hasn't changed over the years is player attitudes towards the jersey - and the reverence and intimidation it can create among opponents.

"Son, you've got to be prepared to p**** blood to wear this jersey," All Blacks enforcer Mark 'Cowboy' Shaw famously told a young Mike Brewer in the 1980s.

Legendary All Blacks captain Wayne 'Buck' Shelford, who never lost a test as skipper in the black jersey, was a little more eloquent.

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"Every day I pulled that black jersey on was a day of....just happiness really," Shelford recalled.

In terms of opponents, nobody summed it up better than legendary Welsh halfback Gareth Edwards, a 1971 Lion in New Zealand, who muttered the great phrase: "There is something about the blackness of their jersey that strikes fear into your heart."

While the design of the All Black jersey has changed to keep pace with the game - and players' changing body shapes, its essential mana remains.

Rugby's dominance in New Zealand since then has ensured that black and silver are essentially our national colours. That was enshrined in law in 1986 when the name 'All Blacks' and a stylised silver fern were finally registered.