Australia v Wales: 17 different jerseys the Wallabies have worn against the men in red

Rugby tests between Wales and the Wallabies have a long and rich history. The first match between the two in 1908 was just Australia’s 13th Test ever, and Wales were only our third opponent (after New Zealand and Great Britain).

In all (before this 2024 series) the two sides have now met 46 times.

Wales are instantly recognisable in their traditional scarlet jersey. Australia on the other hand have donned numerous colours and if you include kit variations they have worn 17 different jerseys just against The Principality.

Add additional versions, made especially for Rugby World Cups and there are another seven where we have played Wales. It’s clear the ‘men in scarlet’ have lined up against the vast majority of jerseys worn by Australia.

Just look at the major colours.

Sky blue - In 1908 The Wallabies (newly named for their British Isles, France and North America Tour) wore the sky-blue and Waratah emblem of New South Wales.

That state had organised, funded and selected the team. Note a separate Australian Rugby Union was still over 40 years away!  The jersey however did bear the distinctive ‘AUSTRALIA’ embroidered under the emblem, as the squad of 29 did include 5 Queenslanders.

  • 1908/1909 Wallabies Jersey

The sky-blue jersey was worn again against Wales on the 1927/28 British Isles, France and Canada tour, but this time it was indeed The Waratahs of New South Wales playing, as rugby had ceased in Queensland after The Great War.

These international matches on the tour were granted test status in the 198os by the Australian Rugby Union.

Green - Finally a separate Australian national jersey was created in 1929 and the Wallaby Tours of 1947/48 and 1957/58 saw Australia playing Wales wearing a green jersey with the Australia coat of arms.

All Gold - That said, continued clashes of jersey colours, with the also green wearing South Africa in the 1930s, 1950s and finally in 1961 saw Australia adopt gold as the jersey and we played Wales on 4 different occasions in the ‘all gold jersey with white collar’ (1966, 1969, 1973 and 1975, with Wales winning the last 3).

Adidas Gold - Gold continued in the late 1970s and 1980s clashes, but with the addition of the famous three stripes of Adidas in green. The Wallabies and Wales were two apiece in this period – Australia decisive in the 1984 ‘Grand Slam’ match and Wales winning the 1987 RWC play-off game.

Gold & green collar - A new manufacturer in the 1990s saw Canterbury adopt an all-gold design again but with the addition of a green collar.

In this the Wallabies were undefeated on 6 occasions against Wales. A 7th Wallaby jersey variation was adopted in 1999 as a large green hoop was added to the arms of the jersey. This design was famously worn in the RWC of 1999. Australia defeated Wales in the Quarter final on the way to winning

Gold & green side - For the 2005 game the green sleeves were ditched by Canterbury for green panels under the arm and down the side.

Incidentally Wales wore an alternate strip for this game - the first time against a tier one nation, in black, celebrating their 125th Anniversary, they famously won 24-22. This was their first win over the Wallabies since 1987.

This was the 23rd meeting of the teams over 97 years. Incredibly they meet a further 23 times in just the next 17 years.

In that period five of those encounters were at Rugby World Cups where bizarrely we’ve been in the same pool on 3 occasions (2007, 2015 and 2023)

From the 2010 match, where the wallabies were dressed by Kooga, the designs changed frequently, with the hue of gold and yellow changing often and the style and colours of the collar a kaleidoscope.

The current Wallaby jersey maker is ASIC, celebrating in 2024 their 11th season with RA. They reverted to the current hue ‘Wallaby Gold” in 2021.

Purchase The Official History of the Wallabies Jersey by Michael Fahey to learn more about the many different Australian jerseys. Rugby News readers can enter discount code RUGBY to receive 20% off.

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