History and Evolution of Rugby Collars

History and Evolution of Rugby Collars

Rugby, like any other sport, has gone through a series of changes in its uniforms. One such feature that has been modified over time is the rugby collar. This article will delve into the history and evolution of rugby collars, and how they have become an integral part of the sport's heritage.

File:The Roses Match.jpg

The Battle of the Roses. The rugby match between Lancashire and Yorkshire in 1894. Yorkshire are in the all-white strip. Lancashire wear the red and white hooped jerseys and black shorts. 

Painting By William Barnes Wollen.


The earliest rugby jerseys, worn in the late 19th century (shown above), featured a simple round collar that was not designed for any specific function. However, as the sport evolved and became more physical, players began to experience neck injuries, and the need for more padding and support became apparent. This led to the evolution of the distinctive winged collars that are synonymous with rugby today.

In the early 20th century, rugby collars began to grow in size and feature button fastenings, providing greater protection for the players. These collars were often made of heavy cotton or wool, and were designed to be buttoned up to protect the player's neck. During the 1920s and 1930s, rugby collars became even larger and more elaborate, with some featuring a lace-up design.

In the 1950s and 1960s, rugby jerseys began to take on a more streamlined look, with narrower collars and more form-fitting designs. This trend continued into the 1970s when rugby collars became more understated, with white or contrasting narrow collars.

In recent years, rugby jerseys have incorporated new materials and technologies to enhance the comfort and performance of the players. However, the classic winged collar remains a distinctive feature of the sport, with many teams opting for bold, colorful collars that reflect their team's personality and style.

The different styles and designs of rugby collars often reflect a team's history and traditions. Some teams opt for a more traditional look, with narrow, white collars that evoke the sport's early days. Others take a more modern approach, with bold, colorful collars that reflect their team's personality and style.

In Ohio, almost no teams don collared rugby jerseys anymore. However, Inferno is proud to provide Ohio University the ability to claim the title as the only MAC Conference team to still rock the collared game jerseys. This sets them apart on the field and reflects their dedication to preserving the traditions and history of the sport.

The history and evolution of rugby collars have been influenced by various factors, including the need for more padding and support and changes in fashion. Despite these changes, the classic winged collar remains an iconic feature of the sport, reflecting its rich history and tradition. At Inferno, we are proud to celebrate this heritage by offering a wide range of rugby jerseys and apparel that feature collars inspired by the sport's legacy. This is our trademark.

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