Nines designs inspired by Maori culture
RUGBY LEAGUE: Traditional Maori designs took centre stage at the 2017 NRL Auckland Nines jersey reveal, with the Brisbane Broncos among those unveiling their new strip in Sydney.
Players from all 16 NRL clubs assembled at NRL headquarters to model their new jerseys for the fourth edition of the short-form pre-season tournament, to be held at Eden Park from February 4-5.
The Broncos have followed the Warriors' lead in incorporating Maori designs in their Nines jersey, which is mint green in colour in an eye-catching departure from their usual maroon and yellow strip.
The name of the jersey is Kakahu Tu Taua, which translates to mean "battle garment”. The Broncos will wear the jersey at the Nines and also when they travel to face the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium in May.
The top designs are called Mourei (chest plate tattoo), which represent the Broncos' "war party”, with rugby league a type of on-field battle.
The bottom spearhead designs represent all players that have represented the Broncos, and the relationship they forged in battle with their Broncos teammates.
Kiwis international pair Alex Glenn and Jordan Kahu had a hand in the look of the jersey, which was partly inspired by the Chiefs' Super Rugby shirts that have also incorporated Maori designs.
"The club asked us if we wanted to take part in designing the jersey,” Glenn said. "Obviously we took that chance with both hands and it's come out better than expected.
"It took a couple of views to get used to the colour but once all of the patterns came together it came out really well.”
Warriors captain Ryan Hoffman was on hand to show off thee team's Te Toka Tu Toa jersey, which features Maori design with natural rock-inspired graphics.
The design continues the theme of incorporating natural elements into the Nines kit, like 2016's Spirit of the Warrior and 2015's Tangaroa.
Hoffman admitted he struggled with pronouncing the name but had a clear interpretation and understanding of the jersey's meaning and significance.
"It means the Warrior rock always endures and the Warrior rock will not be moved,” Hoffman said.