The 1995 Rugby World Cup is often considered the most significant of all the world championships staged thus far.
For some people 1995 stands out in rugby’s history for the emotive and socially historic moment when Nelson Mandela, adorned in a Springbok jersey, handed Francois Pienaar the William Webb Ellis trophy. It was a moment that united millions.
Others look back on 1995 as the first true world cup as it was the first time South Africa had competed for the title, having been barred from the 1987 and 1991 events for political reasons. Some reminisce about the 1995 world cup as the last amateur tournament, the last flicker before rugby changed forever and fully embraced capitalism. Others remember it for a strapping Jonah Lomu in his prime setting the sporting world alight.
We, at The East Terrace, remember it for other reasons. This was the tournament in which Canada produced the most shocking set of rugby jerseys ever seen in the history of the game.
If you watched the 1995 World cup and can’t remember Canada’s kit it is probably because you are suffering from False Memory Syndrome and your brain is, honourably, trying to protect you from the horrors of the 1995 Canadian shirt.
What were they thinking? How could anyone feel pride in a jersey like this? Imagine going out to face South Africa, on their patch, wearing this get up. It’s hardly likely to inspire national pride is it? Who could have blamed a Canadian player for feigning a hamstring injury before kick off and going to sit in the stand with a beer crying at the shame being heaped upon his beloved nation? Not us.
The East Terrace would like to offer the following word of advice to would be kit designers: If your jersey looks like something John Wayne Gacy would wear in his spare time…GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD!
These images are of an actual Canadian test jersey (we’ve no idea if they had the cheek/lunacy to produce replicas). Canada actually played only in the red version for the World Cup and if you would like to see the red version of this tragedy in action, then by all means visit this Youtube clip (the music is almost as scary as the kit) and watch the North Americans fist fighting with South Africa.
To be fair, the red version is slightly less harrowing. But that’s like saying dying by being stabbed is less scary than being hung drawn and quartered. As for the fighting in the clip, it’s very hard to look intimidating in that get up isn’t it?
And just what did they do to the Canadian logo? O Canada!
Including the logo, The East Terrace counted over 100 maple leaves on the jersey (we can’t be sure as we felt sick looking at it for too long). Over a 100! Why? In case people watching forgot who was playing? Well, just in case any idiot did, the designers added the word ‘Canada’ in big red letters to each sleeve……twice! That’s four giant reminders on the arms.
What scares The East Terrace the most is not only did someone actually design this abomination, people from the Canadian Rugby Union would had to have agreed to it.
We don’t know much about Canadian national history, but this has to be the WORST thing that ever happened to the nation. Ever.
Thankfully this jersey, made by Sport Kix, has been confined to the dustbin of rugby fashion. Long may it remain there.