RFL explain why England kit has gone from red to blue

2022 england rugby league kit

The launch of the new England kit for the upcoming World Cup was quite a change from the usual in rugby league.

It marked a significant shift from the use of red to blue on the shirt, dividing opinion.

And the RFL have now explained their reasons for the change.

One of those is that blue, in particular navy, is popular according to kit manufacturers Oxen, and they have already reported really strong early sales of the shirt.

MORE: England’s World Cup warm-up game with Fiji moved to Salford

From red to blue

Mark Foster, the RFL’s chief commercial officer, said: “We said last week when confirming details for the new shirt launch, and the offers for supporters who had bought a jersey in the previous 12 months, that it was going to be different, and recognised it would provoke a debate.

“It’s one we had internally when the concept first came up earlier this year.

“It started from a desire to get a Rugby League chevron into the design – we saw with the popularity of the Great Britain shirt for the 2019 Lions tour that the heritage of that matters.

“But a red V isn’t an option for our national team – it’s already very closely identified with a very successful club team. And when you add Hull KR, Wigan, Salford, Leigh and others, there are a lot of clubs linked to designs around red and white.

“The more we thought about navy blue as the supporting colour to white, the more it appealed.

“England football kits have tended to have an element of blue, whether in the shirt or shorts.

“England cricket teams have always played white ball cricket in blue, and in the last five years they’ve won two home World Cups wearing blue.

“Our merchandise partners tell us navy is popular – and there is already encouraging evidence of that, with sales on day one surpassing the numbers we sold in the first month in 2021.

“We did have to check with RLWC21, as coincidentally the other three teams in our group in the men’s competition have mostly blue kits – Samoa, France and Greece. But they have given us the all clear – and the early signs are that we are going to have a lot of England supporters wearing the new shirts this autumn.”

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About James Gordon 7123 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.


  1. England has always been red and white it looks like a Scottish shirt get it changed back to the st george shirt which it originally was very disgruntled England supporter

    • What gives the rlfc the right to change the national strip. It shows thei arrogance They should have consulted every r league team before going ahead. To me the gt Britain strip is iconic and far away the best national strip. NEDLESS TO SAY I AM FURIOUS WITH THE AUTHORITIES. I WOULD KICK OUT EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM 🤬🤬👎👎

      • Great Britain shirts were best, but if we’re gonna play as England it MUST be Red and White – I’ll vote with my wallet and not bother.

    • Dont like it .looking at it where do you get the feeling its england barking the tiny badge.the navy blue is closer to Great Britain.which just isnt england.we should be proud to be red and white for our st george cross.not Great Britain.so what if it it’s close to other teams who play in red and white.im a hull fc supporter so it goes without say I m not a fan of our red and white rival .however the england hut still should be red and white.what snowflakes came up with the design is what I’d like to know

  2. This jersey does not represent the England colours of red and white and is unrecognisable and unsuitable for players representing their country! It’s not about what colour is popular it’s about pride in an England shirt known all around the world as red and white-the colour of our flag!!

  3. They do a sponsors photo shoot with Rimmer and Wayne holding red and white scarves. Confused thinking and messaging. Navy blue does not say England Rugby League to me. Stick with the red.

  4. Its an absolute joke – who on earth signed off on this? The national flag is red and white – is the RFL ashamed of our flag or something? This is another example of why rugby league is becoming a laughing stock!

  5. If you had put the V in Red and only that then at least it would have been a nod to the GB shirt which would have probably gone down a lot better. As it is it simply doesn’t represent England no matter what Oxen or RLF say. I can smell the answer and it’s heavily linked to Bradford Bulls(hit)

  6. So typical of The RFL, instead of accepting they have got it so completely wrong! They take to the Book of Amateur Excuses! It’s supporters who buy replica jerseys, not RFL staff.

  7. I get that England football sometimes have navy blue and white, but everyone recognises the England flag as the red George Cross on a white background.

    If you wanted to honour the chevron, you could have had a red background with a white chevron across the middle, so as not to be too similar to Saints red V.

  8. The comments on here 🤣🤣 If you’re this angry at a shirt, wait till you find out about what the Tories have been doing the last few years

  9. England cricket teams have not always played in Blue. I remember an England cricket team playing in RED. Our flag is red and white. I will be wearing the shirt designed for last year’s non World Cup. Its red and white. Cross of St George so ticks all the boxes. Only those who bought it through the official site get a discount. I bought mine through an advert on the Our League app so will not get one.

  10. We should play with a white shirt and the red cross of st george thats our shirt no v’s no blue no other lets matket this shirt this way clap

  11. Poor decision by the RL to dispense with the England shirt representing our national flag. I imagine though that Featherstone Rovers might like the shirt that the RL have come up with. The Chevron and sleeves should be in red.

  12. 👎 What fools. No wonder the IMG has been brought in. Their first job should be to take the blindfolds off the lot of them at the RFL. Blimey! they’ll be wanting to use triangle shaped balls next to see if they can make the game more interesting.

  13. The design is gearing around the sponsors”Betfed”. There is nothing international about that jersey! I bet the Australian jersey will be green and gold and the New Zealand jersey will be black and white. Your a joke! The lot of you! Countries proud of their teams and proud of the jersey.

  14. Absolutely disgusted at this decision We are England our colours are Red & White always has been they could have had any design they wanted so long as it’s our England colours.
    It will serve you right if you fall flat in your face and the kit doesn’t sell as well as you think it will!!

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