10. Treorchy Rugby 1990
Treorchy Rugby, 1990s powerhouse of rugby in the Rhondda are known as the Zebras. In 1990 the nickname was taken quite literally, and they decided to put an actual, real zebra on the front of their shirt.
9. Newport Rugby mid-1990s
Newport had a classic formula for a nice shirt. Alternating horizontal black and amber bands, understated and classy…
Then they did this.
Basically, they vajazzled their shirt.
With lightning bolts.
8. Vodacom Bulls 2014
In combat, DPM is a good idea. In rugby, it’s best to be able to see your teammates to pass them the ball and have a general idea of their position. DPM is not such a good idea here.
For sheer impracticality of use outside of a warzone, this makes our list.
7. Llanelli 1998
A contentious one. Some Scarlets fans will cite this as one of their favourite shirts with stirring, Celtic influences guiding the design principles. Others call it an abomination and that Richard Branson wearing a dress doesn’t really sum up the mission statement of the West Wales rugby leviathan. That, and the shield looks a bit like a nipple.
6. Pontypridd 2016
Pontypridd has a proud history and some classic, iconic shirts. Anyone growing up in the valleys in the 1990s would be familiar with the black and white kit, with the bridge motif. Occasionally, Ponty would go a bit wild and chuck in some red, or even a bit of pink.
In 2016 however, they threw caution to the wind when designing their away kit; and apparently handed a big box of highlighters to the work experience kid who told them he was really good at GCSE textiles.
5. Ospreys 2010
This retina-blowing little number could be the love child of Andy Warhol and Victor Frankenstein had they ever met and done the nasty.
4. Calvisano 2006
A prime example of what happens when you don’t say ‘no’ to sponsors…
3. Namibia 2011
A truly horrific example of what happens when you give a sponsor too much free rein in the design meeting.
2. Austria Rugby 2012
You can picture the design meeting now. “What is Austria famous for? Architecture, art, music, Arnold Schwarzenegger”. So, you’d assume that the design may hint at one or more of these motifs?
Nope. They decided to base it on a national dress and stuck a pair of lederhosen braces on a check pattern shirt with wonky button detail. See those braces? Yes, those are buckles.
Et voila, 15 guys on a field looking like they’ve taken a wrong turn on their way to the pub at Big Dave’s stag party to Austria.
1. Stade Français 2009 Away Kit
In fairness, an entire article could be written on Stade Français shirts, which could be defined as esoteric or vomit-inducing, depending on your perspective. This particular shirt makes me want to gouge out my eyes with an ice cream scoop.
These guys top our list as they’re consistently capable and willing to commit such atrocities. Don’t believe us? Google “Stade Français kits”. And don’t forget to keep a bucket close by.