Seeing as it’s a rugby world cup year, and they only come around every blue moon, we decided we would have a dabble at creating a limited-edition LANX England rugby supporter’s shirt. And I reckon we’ve cracked it!
The LANX rugby shirt has been in development for 12+ months, largely because we had to search the length and breadth of the UK to find a factory who still made rugby shirts to the very high quality we required. After months of “digging like demented moles”, we stumbled across Roy.
Roy has been in textiles for the last 52 years and his connection with rugby shirts goes back a staggering 30+ years. Back in the 90’s Roy worked with some of the long established names from British sportswear manufacturing, and when one of his previous employers closed down their UK production in the early 2000’s Roy bought their knitting equipment and set up on his own.
Alongside his partner Helen, Roy had produced us a 14 gauge single jersey, in a 310 gram/m2 weight. Each of these rugby jerseys are made with 100% cotton, of which the yarns can be traced back to their Portuguese origins. We know what you're thinking… “They don’t build ‘em like that anymore”. Well Roy still does, and we are very proud to work with him and his team.
Having found our British manufacture, we turned our attention to the design. Like all England rugby shirts, we have kept things traditional. The 2 main design features being the all white collar and the stripes across the sleeve. Both these classic design features have been inspired by 2 of England’s greatest rugby shirts and the on-field moments that took place in them...
Rugby World Cup 1995 | Mike Catt & Jonah Lomu
The stripes on the sleeves were inspired by the shirt England wore during the 1995 rugby world cup in South Africa. A world cup made famous by 2 men… Nelson Mandela and Jonah Lomu. The images of Mandela cheering on his nation in a Springbok jersey and the footage of Lomu making light work of the England defence left a lasting impression on me as a 10 year old. Up to the Semi-final England had done well, beating a strong Australia in the quarter final. However, Lomu and the All Blacks brushed aside Will Carling’s England team, in particular Mike Catt who’s England shirt was covered in Lomus stud marks. Despite England’s embarrassment this shirt remains a classic design and if my memory serves me correct England haven’t had the red and navy sleeve stripes since? Therefore, it is my delight to bring them back.
6 Nations 2000 | Jonny Wilkinson & Emile N’tamack
The 6 Nations championship in 2000 was ultimately a success for England as they came top, but defeat to Scotland in the last match still hurts today, but not quite as much as Emile N’tamack’s rib-cage does. In the second match of the championship England held on to beat the French 9-15 in Paris. The game is best remembered for flyhalf supreme Jonny Wilkinson, who on the stroke of halftime put Emile N’tamack “in to Ward 4”, and with it immediately announced himself as England’s new young rugby star. Seeing Wilkinson make that tackle, in that all white England shirt, was simply inspiring.
Other features of the LANX England shirt include the off-white fabric which has been chosen to give the shirt a vintage aesthetic. The left chest has an English rose, inspired by the England rugby rose, but adapted to include our own Lancashire rose inspired design. The right chest includes the LANX Traders logo which is a nod to British clothing brand Cotton Traders, who were the official England kit supplier back in 1995.
Our rugby shirts are traditionally cut, with a looser, more relaxed fit. Because of this they fit just as well on men as they do on women. We offer our rugby shirts in sizes from Men’s Small to Men’s XXL.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about how our rugby shirts are made and designed. If you are looking to support England during the upcoming world cup and also support English based designers, creators and manufactures, please do consider purchasing our England rugby supporters’ shirt. The LANX team and our suppliers would value your support.
To purchase one of our limited edition rugby shirts click here. The shirt is currently available on pre-order and will be shipped WC 28 August 2023 (just in time for the World Cup).
Many thanks for reading.
Marv - LANX Founder
This rugby shirt has been designed in collaboration with Cotton Traders.