NRL fans were left baffled after the South Sydney Rabbitohs ditched their traditional cardinal and myrtle jerseys for a bizarre outfit for this year’s Anzac Round match against the Melbourne Storm.
The Bunnies are an iconic NRL founding club that is immediately recognizable by the traditional red and green stripes that appear on most of their jerseys.
Most, but not all.
South Sydney have unveiled their Anzac Round jersey for the 2024 season and fans are not very impressed with the color palette and design, which is all blue/purple and white, with no hint of the famous cardinal red and myrtle green of the equipment.
South Sydney Rabbitohs players Shaquai Mitchell (left) and new recruit Jack Wighton model the 2024 Anzac Round jerseys the Bunnies will wear.
The shirt design was inspired by the Royal Australian Navy, and the club made the announcement aboard the US ship USS Canberra while in California.
The color choice was made after the Rabbitohs forged a partnership with the Royal Australian Navy for this year’s Anzac Round.
‘The Rabbitohs are delighted to reveal the 2024 ANZAC Round jersey whilst on board the USS Canberra, during our visit to the USA. We are proud of our continued partnership with the Royal Australian Navy, which is reflected in this jersey inspired by their ceremonial uniform”, the club published.
“Congratulations on your support of the Australian Navy,” one fan responded.
‘Congratulations to all those interested. The club deserves to be commended for its genuine collaboration and continued support of the RAN,” posted another.
Making the design choice even more curious is the fact that the Bunnies will be playing Melbourne in their Anzac match.
The jersey is very similar to the Storm’s away jersey, while fans also think it better suits two other NRL clubs.
‘Why are they wearing the Melbourne Storm away kit?’ asked a fan.
‘Legit thought these were the @nthqldcowboys. “I respect the sentiment, but there isn’t a hint of your colors here,” another posted.
‘It looks like the Bulldogs. Shouldn’t it have some red and green somewhere? asked another.
Some fans were simply scathing of the design, which is as big a departure from the humble red and green stripes as you can get.
‘You should be kicked out of the competition again. This is so bad,’ raged one angry fan.
“What’s the point of having club colours, especially iconic ones like the Rabbitohs’ cardinal and myrtle, if you’re not even going to wear them on your own kit, themed or not?” another questioned.
“I’m in the wrong industry, I should be an NRL shirt designer, I couldn’t be worse than these clowns,” raged another.
The Rabbitohs will play the Melbourne Storm in the Anzac Round and the Melbourne club will also feature a very similar looking strip.
South Sydney Rabbitohs fans were not very impressed with the departure from the traditional cardinal and myrtle stripes.
While the Royal Australian Navy is firmly part of Australia’s armed forces, fans were quick to mock the Rabbitohs for aligning with the RAN for the Anzac Round.
The Rabbitohs, who stumbled in the run-up to last season’s finals after a strong start, have made key additions to their squad ahead of their season opener against Manly in Las Vegas.
Former Raiders player Jack Wighton and Sea Eagles’ Sean Keppie are major signings.
Wighton, a friend of star fullback Latrell Mitchell, can form a potent combination for the team. Despite losing some players, the team seems stronger and more balanced.
Injuries have affected the team’s key full-backs, with Campbell Graham and Tyrone Munro sidelined.
The Rabbitohs’ classic cardinal red and myrtle green colors (pictured) are nowhere to be seen on the new strip.
Jacob Gagai and Taane Milne are expected to replace them. While he missed the first two games due to suspension, Wighton is anticipated to make a strong impact afterwards. Tallis Duncan, named after the legendary Gordy, will contribute to the group.
Although the team faced challenges last season, coach Jason Demetriou’s experience and strong leadership are expected to return the Rabbitohs to form next season in Las Vegas.
After a rare absence from the finals in 2023, the Rabbitohs are set to return in 2024.