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Social media dark on All Blacks away kit

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/11/2016

Negative social media feedback on the All Blacks new alternate kit has largely outweighed any positive comments.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read unveiled the half-black-half-white split on New Zealand television on Monday.

The new shirt is black from the sternum upwards and white below with a geometric design around the chest, with the All Blacks logo and that of the side's kit manufacturer tilted outwards.

The world champions are set to pull on the jumper for the first time against France this weekend, but may not wear it again after that until their next encounter with Les Bleus.

The classic black jumper is employed for the large majority of the side's clashes, including against Rugby Championship opponents.

Reaction has ranged from asking if the strip is an away jersey or a throw-away jersey, to describing it as a half-scratched scratchy, and saying it makes the All Blacks look like the black and white minstrels.

The design has drawn some unfavourable comparisons to the ill-fated silver and grey alternate jerseys of the 2007 World Cup, consigned to the rubbish bin after New Zealand's quarter-final 18-20 loss to France.

A website with the sole function of reviewing rugby shirts - taglined "taking rugby shirts too seriously since 2013" - has offered a largely positive perspective.

Rugbyshirtwatch.com has praised the asymmetrical design, calling it dynamic and striking, "unconventional yet still kinda awesome".

But perhaps the most heartfelt comments to pop up on social media have been along the lines of "I don't care, so long as they win".

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