Iconic kits that make South Africa’s Currie Cup so special

The Currie Cup is a tournament steeped in history and rich in iconography.

Some of the Currie Cup’s stalwarts have undergone major rebranding in the professional era, although these new identities are generally strongly linked to historical roots in the cases of the Bulls and the Lions.

Iconic kits that make Currie Cup special

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SOUTH AFRICA – UNDATED: Boela van der Merwe of Transvaal, Steve Strydom referee playing rugby in South Africa.. (Photo by Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images)

Natal Rugby deliberately underwent a rebranding in the mid-1990s, becoming the Sharks while Free State adopted the moniker of the Cheetahs more organically, but both sides remained true to their unions roots in the design of their jerseys.

Currie Cup
SOUTH AFRICA – UNDATED: Theuns Stofberg of Free State playing Currie Cup rugby in South Africa. Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

The daisy on an iconic blue jersey can mean just one thing. Blue Bulls Rugby.

Currie Cup Bulls
Currie Cup action returns this weekend, starting with the Sharks who visit Nelspruit for their clash against the Pumas on Friday, 4 March. Photo: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

The hoops have it

Currie Cup
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – OCTOBER 26, Henry Haniball during the Currie Cup final match between Transvaal and Sharks from Ellis Park Stadium on October 26, 1996 in South Africa
Photo by Tertius Pickard/ Gallo Images
Currie Cup: Pumas v Cheetahs
Currie Cup action resumes on Friday. Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

Even the Pumas distinctive pink kit draws inspiration from a bygone era and after toying with funky designs for a brief spell, Griquas have also returned to their roots in their Peacock Blue and white striped shirts.

A South Eastern Transvaal Rugby jersey, recently auctioned. Photo: Pumas Rugby
Currie Cup
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 07: George Whitehead and team mates of Griquas celebrate the win during the Carling Currie Cup match between DHL Western Province and Tafel Lager Griquas at Cape Town Stadium on July 07, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

No discussion of iconic rugby jerseys is complete without making mention of Western Province and their famous blue and white hooped jersey.

Bismarck du Plessis
Western Province captain Nama Xaba has accused Bulls veteran Bismarck du Plessis of throwing a punch that was missed by officials. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

In 2023 the Griffons of Northern Free State return to the Currie Cup proper. With them come their iconic purple jerseys. The team have the nickname ‘The Purple People-Eaters’.

Currie Cup
Dillon Smit of the Lions tackled by De Wet Kruger of the Griffons during the 2016 Currie Cup Qualifier rugby match between the Lions and Griffons at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 2 July, 2016 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Does the Currie Cup have rugby’s best kits?

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