A quarter of a century ago the different associations representing rugby in South Africa unified, and to mark the momentous milestone, ASICS SA has produced a limited number of replicas of the alternate red jersey the Springboks will wear during the match against the Pumas in Salta on 26 August.

The red of the flag was chosen for this very special commemorative jersey, now available in limited numbers through retail.

This will complete the patriotic colour palette of the Springboks’ 2017 playing and training apparel, where the flag colours white, yellow, green and now red have all featured.

“We wanted to mark the 25th anniversary of rugby in South Africa in a striking and memorable way and in partnership with ASICS came up with this bold alternate strip,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“We chose the colours of the flag as a uniting symbol and believed that red made the boldest statement as a tribute to the achievement of rugby unity, which was completed before democracy arrived in South Africa.”

Red also provided the strongest contrast to the Springboks’ Castle Lager Rugby Championship rivals, says Roux. The red colouring is rounded off by a black collar, logos, as well as other details.

ASICS SA is excited to reveal the red jersey to Springbok supporters, says GM Brian Kerby.

“This is definitely a bold statement by us as a brand – to celebrate Springbok rugby for what has been achieved over the past 25 years and also looking ahead towards a positive future for the team,” adds ASICS SA team sport manager Wesley Tam.

Rugby unity was achieved on 20 March 1992, after covert negotiations between the old South African Rugby Board (SARB) and the banned ANC started in 1988.

SARB and the non-racial South African Rugby Union, the South African Rugby Football Federation and the South African Rugby Association came together in 1992 to form the South African Rugby Football Union (SARFU) under the joint presidency of Ebrahim Patel (SARU) and Danie Craven (SARB).  SARFU’s name was changed to SARU in 2003.

“It was a remarkable achievement to bring all rugby communities together after so many years of division,” says Roux. “We have made mistakes as a sport; we will not always get it right. But rugby has given South Africa moments of great joy in the past 25 years and proved its supreme capacity to build our nation.”

The red jersey was a symbol of the conclusion of one era and the starting of a new one, he adds. “it is commonplace for national teams to be creative with their alternate playing kits, but it is not something we have done with our white alternate jersey in South Africa before.”