The countdown to the ‘New Era’ of Super League in 2015 is in full swing after a mixed reaction to the fixtures was buoyed by a superb set of kit releases with many sides inspired by historic successes while others have based designs on fan feedback but what do the fans really think?
As a travelling Warrior, I get to see a lot of the kits and this season looks to be a really good year overall but there are some designs that really bring to mind the phrase ‘What were they thinking?’
After a superb season in 2014, Castleford have announced their home and away kits which will hopefully spur them on to another good season in 2015 with new partner XBlades producing both shirts.
Home- A primarily orange design featuring a black Vee looks very good and works well with the main sponsor logo of CBR Engineering so in my view, XBlades have made a very good debut with this incarnation.8/10
Away- A striped design featuring orange and white works well with the club logo and the nicely positioned logo of main sponsor CBR Engineering enhances the look of the shirt with the black trim adding a good effect down the sides of the stripes. 8/10
Catalan have continued their trend of a treble reveal with a home/away/cup reveal with all three inspired by their historic formation and the celebration of 10 years as a Super League team.
Home- A sleek design inspired by the XIII Catalan side that spearheaded the merger in 2000 featuring a red/yellow chevron that fits well with the club logo. The primary white looks good for now but in time will surely be dominated by the muddy conditions of Super League 2015. 8/10
Away- Alike fellow Catalan side FC Barcelona, a superbly colourful design that has been inspired by St Estève who in merging with XIII Catalan resulted in Union Treiziste Catalane. The inclusion of a yellow chevron makes the shirt look even better and will be one to look out for when the Dragons travel. 10/10
Cup- A somewhat strange design which seems to have no clearly announced inspiration will be used in the Challenge Cup in 2015 and on first impression, the tapestry detail is nice but could be compared to the hallowed grey kit of Manchester United which caused confusion between players so the jury is out on this one I feel. 6/10
Huddersfield have been criticised for a number of releases in the past so with the announcement of both home and away kits, of course the critics of the past will look to dampen the joy of the reveals.
Home- A design of claret and gold inspired by the club logo which as a result blends in a bit too much and suffers with the somewhat lack of symmetry with the main sponsor Bond IT which would look better even if only the white background was extended to match the stripes. 5/10.
Away- A nice purple design which works well and coupled with the white stripes ironically bonds well with the main sponsor logo which looks more prominent than its primary partner and could prove that the alternate sells better than the primary shirt. 8/10
Hull FC have got one over their fierce city rivals again with the announcement of both home and away kits with each having a special story behind them ahead of a season that could be a truly new era for the Black and Whites.
Home- A design that reverts back to the famous black and white hoops is inspired by the clubs 150th anniversary with a special HullFC150 crest featuring proudly on the shirt and is a fitting tribute to previous incarnations of the kit including the famous 1982 Challenge Cup triumph. 8/10
Away- A wonderfully colourful purple design which draws on the history of the club but most fittingly the focus has to be on the inclusion of club legend Steve Prescott with the Steve Prescott Foundation being carried on the shirt in place of a sponsor which is an amazing gesture and adds to what is a superb shirt. 10/10
Hull Kingston Rovers at present have a single reveal in the form of their home with their away kit due to be revealed tomorrow night (27th Nov) but have continued a rich heritage of stylish designs in their primary reveal.
Home- A striking red base is coupled well with the blue of club sponsor Clearsky and gives the shirt a really bright influence which is inspired by the 1882 Hull Kingston Amateurs along with the famous double winning side of 1983/84.8/10
Away- A design inspired by the City of Culture in 2017 which can be seen inthe colour scheme, the shirt looks good with the use of white working well with the KR logo. 8/10.
Leeds at present have only announced their home kit with no currently released information concerning the away reveal but the single reveal has so far seen a good reaction from the Rhinos' faithful.
Home- A design with a modern twist on traditional incarnations of the shirt sees the classic blue and yellow maintained but with a new design for main sponsor Leeds Building Society on a dark background. The change is good in my view as being one of few clubs to remain with ISC, this is a good design overall. 8/10
Away-A new-look design featuring naby/ocean stripes includes the new Leeds Building Society logo which is accompanied by a special Jamie Peacock logo in tribute to his final season with £1 from each sale donated to his testimonial fund. A nice looking kit overall but the lack of traditional yellow dents the rating a touch. 7/10
Salford Red Devils
After a debut season since their re-branding, Salford have changed even further with the acquisition of a new kit partner in Under Armour who have a good reputation in both football and rugby union.
Home- A nice design overall surely inspired by the club logo with the colours of red and black very prominent, the detail looks good and the clear display of main sponsor Lowry Outlet is nice. However this kit suffers hugely in my view because of one word - Salford, not one mention of the city itself is on the shirt and it dampens the rating in my opinion. 7/10
Ahead of a season as defending champions, St Helens have revealed home and away kits with striking differences but with some traditional kept intact.
Home- A design that sees the return of a deep ‘Red Vee’ featuring main sponsor Typhoo prominently and including Roofing Consultants at the tip of the Vee which goes well with the club logo makes for a good debut for O’Neills who have taken over from ISC as the manufacturer. 8/10
Away A design with a sky blue base which blends well with the textured black featured in a small chevron of which the size makes the shirt looks inferior to its primary partner and despite the prominence of sponsor Typhoo just doesn’t look right to me. 7/10
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
Wakefield will look to mount a challenge on the top eight next season and will do so with two fairly similar designs in the home and away kits.
Home- A design surely inspired by the club logo with the red and blue stripes accompanying the logo with a white and grey background featuring trinity fleur-de-lis which can be seen on the club logo but the pattern just looks strange and as a result dampens what is otherwise a good design. 5/10
Away- A slightly different design to its primary partner with the blue looking quite nice alongside a more prominent main sponsor logo for Plumbcare.com which stands out well, trinity fleur-de-lis design actually looks nice on this shirt which makes the colour choice a good decision. 8/10
Warrington have announced both home and away kits with a similar design but one which is synonymous with the club and will hopefully go down well with the Wolves faithful.
Home- A striking design featuring primrose and blue horizontal stripes accompanied by a very prominent sponsor in the form of Fly Emirates links well with the club logo with the only negative being the varies size of the stripes. 8/10
Away- Another striking design with a prominence of primrose which features a blue chevron which works well with the club logo but the sponsor being somewhat put aside dampens compared to its prominence on the home shirt dampens the rating a touch. 7/10
Widnes at present have announced just their principal kit with their new home shirt manufactured by O'Neills who are in the sixth mseason of a partnership with the club.
Home- A design that features a lime green trim alongside the Viking 'V' which has become synonymous with the club since their 2012 Super League return works well with the traditional black and white colours and the addition of main sponsor The Parcel Centre makes the shirt look even better. 9/10.
Away- Launched with the tag 'Fear it', a striking black design features a new sponsor in the form of Electrod UK Ltd with their bolt logo featured prominently aside a flash of electric pink which looks really good. 9/10
Last but by no means least in this review, Wigan have announced two of a trio of potential kits with the home and a first ever Academy kits announced with the away reveal likely to be in the next few days and all three will be produced by new kit partner Errea after the partnership with ISC ended.
Home- A sleek design inspired by the 50 year anniversary of the 1965 Challenge Cup triumph over Hunslet regarded as one of the best finals of all time, Errea have debuted in style with narrow cherry and white hoops featuring the Wigan crest on a black patch and accompanied by a black collar which has gone down very well with the Warriors' faithful after 2014's poor showing. 10/10.
Academy- For the first time in their history, Wigan have revealed a specific kit just for the Academy and the design is a superb one, so good some fans have preferred it to the principal kit. The shirt features an abstract cherry and white hoop with red sleeves accompanied by a white panels and a very prominent logo for main sponsor Morris e3Quality Bakers. 10/10.
Away- A unique design that signals the club's return to black is accomapnied by vibrant splashes of cherry and white and features a well placed castle taken from the club crest. At first, the shirt seemed ok but on closer view it does look really good and coupled with the clubs other releases will empty the pockets of the Warriors' faithful. 9/10