England launch new home and away kit – but will this be the strip that takes them to World Cup glory?

The latest incarnation of England’s two strips have been released, but it won't be hanging around for long

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The Independent Online

England have launched a new home and away kit to be worn throughout the season, beginning with the autumn internationals against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia, but there may be cause for concern as to why you shouldn’t be sprinting towards Twickenham to get your hands on one.

A number of current England stars were pictured in the kit that was released earlier today, along with the Twitter campaign using the hash tag ‘Shirtie’ to drum up attention for the unveiling.

But despite the World Cup – that will be staged across England and Wales – just a year out, it won’t be the strip that Stuart Lancaster’s side are hoping will carry them home to World Cup glory.

As is the way with kit unveilings these days, a new version will be revealed in the weeks leading up to the 2015 World Cup, meaning this version will be around for a less than 12 months as England’s opening match against Fiji is due to kick-off on 18 September next year.

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England's 2014/15 away kit

While the new home kit very much resembles the older version, kit suppliers Canterbury have chosen to shift the famous red rose to the middle of the shirt, but it is the away kit that fashions the most striking changes.

The red and white striped kit, inspired by the first ever jersey to be worn in 1871,  had not gone down well among England fans as the shirt was considered to colourful and contrasting, and it has been replaced by an all-crimson red shirt with blue shorts. While the shirt is a marked improvement though lacking the heritage, the shorts are still a strange choice given the drastic change in colours resembles something you would see on an amateur pitch come Saturday lunchtime.

Chris Robshaw and Co will also wear the kits during the Six Nations campaign in February and March next year, where England take on Italy, Scotland and France at Twickenham as well as daunting trips to Cardiff and Dublin to tackle Wales and Ireland respectively.

 

They will also face a couple of World Cup warm-up matches, although their new World Cup kit will be use by then and the current one will be added to the archives as quickly as it came about.

Interestingly, Robshaw was an absentee in the release for the away kit as he only featured in the home kit, with Kyle Eastmond, Tom Wood, Owen Farrell, Joe Launchbury and Tom Croft all appearing in both pictures. Could this be a sign that Lancaster could be preparing a change of captaincy in the autumn? It’s highly unlikely, but the competition for the No 7 shirt has never been fiercer and the leadership credentials of Wood are nothing to be sniffed at.

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