Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Robshaw happy to copy Arsenal

Chris Robshaw, right, welcomed England's new red wine change strip, worn here by Katy McLean

Arsenal supporter Chris Robshaw has welcomed England's new red wine change strip - because it looks like the kit once worn by his Gunners heroes.

Arsenal wore a redcurrant strip in the 2005-06 season to mark their last campaign at Highbury before moving to the Emirates Stadium. England will debut their own version - officially dubbed "regal purple" with gold detailing - in the QBE autumn international against Australia at Twickenham on November 17.

Robshaw, the England and Harlequins captain, said: "The colour schemes are quite similar and being an Arsenal fan I don't really mind that. It's brilliant!"

He added: "It is a month or so before we meet up again with England and you are getting quite excited about the prospect of the teams we are going to play. It is exciting to have a new kit and new sponsors."

Robshaw also paraded England's more traditional new white home kit, which includes the return of navy socks for the first time since 2007.

The new-look battle gear was designed by Canterbury, who have replaced Nike as England's kit manufacturer after striking a four-year deal with the Rugby Football Union reportedly worth £20million.

The England Sevens team will compete in the HSBC World Series in two new radical kits - one in sky blue and the other red with white sleeves which also bears an Arsenal resemblance.

All England shirts, for the men's, women's and Sevens teams, are emblazoned with the slogan ENGLANDCONNECTED.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster requested Canterbury design one piece of kit that would be exclusive to senior elite players to "represent the pride that comes from representing their country".

As a result, Robshaw and his squad will don a "regal purple" presentation jacket for the anthems, as worn by England players during the 1970s, 1980s and early 90s.