History of the NZ Warriors Jerseys



NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS JERSEY HISTORY

Since its inclusion in the Australian Rugby League competition the Warriors jersey has gone through a number of facelifts. The 2012 black and red home jersey bears no resemblance whatsoever to the original blue, white, red and green. In between that 18 year period however we have gone through some turbulent times. From different competitions to different owners the jersey has merely reflected the changing face of the Warriors.

The following guide is exactly that, a guide. It is not meant to be the be all and end all of Warriors jersey history, rarity or values. Any help, corrections, pictures, added variations or even anecdotes are most welcome and encouraged. No matter how small. Especially any information on the design of jerseys and clear pictures of both front and back.

Variations

From up until 1999 the NRL (or whichever body was running the competition at the time such as NSWRL or ARL) sold the rights to produce jerseys to other manufacturers. For that reason there are various makers marks on a number of Warriors jerseys, particularly the 1995 and 1996 jerseys.

1993

[ATTACH=full]7938[/ATTACH]

The first official Warriors jersey, this was released in March 1993. That same month would see the Warriors Colts be the first team in the clubs history to ever run out in clubs new strip. They played that game at Carlaw Park against Northland U19 crushing them 54-0 in a curtain-raiser to a Winfield Cup match between the Broncos and Bulldogs. The ARL would not be established until 1995 so the jerseys bore the badge of the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) competition that was the ruling organisation at the time.

The original logo was designed by Francis Allan from the Advertising company Colenso and was released in August 1992. The first tekoteko featured a straight tongue however Warriors CEO at the time, Ian Robson, and Marketing Manager ,Liz Dawson, decided that a curved tongue looked more striking. Unbeknown to both the curved tongue was actually a sign of femininity and showed a lack of courage.

The colours of blue, white, green and red were a cross of the Auckland Rugby Leagues traditional colours and the colours of major sponsor DB Bitter. DB Breweries paying close to $1.5 million a year for the rights (some early reports suggested $4 million!).

In May 1993 Ansett was announced as the official Airline to the Warriors and the sleeve sponsor on the jersey. Although at the time they weren't yet flying Trans-Tasman the offer they bid far surpassed that of Air NZ.

Main supplier - Canterbury Clothing Company (CCC)
Major sponsor - DB Bitter
Sleeve sponsor -
Ansett
Upper back sponsor -
DB Bitter
Lower back sponsor -
No sponsor
Home colours -
Blue
Away colours -
No white jersey bearing the NSWRL badge were made.

Variations

Check at the bottom of the post to view slight variations that may differ in value.

1994

*pic***

This jersey would be exactly the same as the jerseys of 1993 but with the CCC logo this time placed under the NSWRL badge as opposed to above it. This would also be the jersey that was first mass produced and sold to the public through CCC stores and by post order.

Main supplier -
Canterbury Clothing Company (CCC)
Major sponsor - DB Bitter
Sleeve sponsor -
Ansett
Upper back sponsor -
DB Bitter
Lower back sponsor -
No sponsor
Home colours -
Blue
Away colours -
No white jersey bearing the NSWRL badge were made.

1995

Home Jersey
[ATTACH=full]7942[/ATTACH]

Away Jersey
[ATTACH=full]7959[/ATTACH]

The real original jersey, this would be the version that the Warriors would wear during their inaugural match against the Brisbane Broncos on the 10th of March and the jersey that tens of thousands of people would buy to show their support. This would also be the year that the new Australian Rugby League would take control from the NSWRL.

Only two real differences from last years jersey were the new ARL badge and the full Ansett logo that would appear on the sleeves of some replicas. The Warriors would also get to run out in their new white alternate jersey.

Main supplier - Canterbury Clothing Company (CCC)
Major sponsor - DB Bitter
Sleeve sponsor -
Ansett
Upper back sponsor - DB Bitter
Lower back sponsor - none
Home colours - Blue
Away colours - White


Variations


There are a number of variations by different makers. Check at the bottom of the post to view slight variations that may differ in value.

1996

[ATTACH=full]7952[/ATTACH]
1996 would see Lenco take over from Canterbury as the official suppliers to the Warriors*. The ARL badge would also change with the addition of the Optus name and slogan but the overall design of the jersey would remain unchanged.

*Lenco as the official supplier needs verifying as Wikipedia has CCC as being the supplier but all the evidence I have seen via pictures a small amount of match footage points to Lenco.

Main supplier -
Lenco
Major sponsor -
DB Bitter
Sleeve sponsor - No sponsor
Upper back sponsor - DB Bitter
Lower back sponsor -
No sponsor
Home colours -
Blue
Away colours -
I have never seen a white Optus shield away jersey?
Variations

There are a number of variations by different makers. Check at the bottom of the post to view slight variations that may differ in value.

1997

[ATTACH=full]7963[/ATTACH]

Warriors would disband from the ARL and join the News Limited run Super League competition. Super League saw the introduction of a generic design by Nike that would only differ in club colours. This gave raise to arguably some of the worst jersey designs ever.

Main supplier -
Nike
Major sponsor -
DB Bitter
Sleeve sponsor - DB Bitter
Upper back sponsor -
No sponsor
Lower back sponsor - No sponsor
Home colours - White/Blue with blue shorts
Away colours - White/Blue with red shorts
Variations

There would a major variation in replicas. You could buy one with all the sponsors logos laminated on and the above example which would be plain. This was the most common version fans bought. Check at the bottom of the post to view slight variations that may differ in value.

1998

[ATTACH=full]7965[/ATTACH]

With the Super League coming to an expensive end, Australasian teams would once again be reunited under the one organisiation. This time it would be under the newly formed NRL. The same design would be used as the previous year with the new NRL badge and new sleeve sponsor Barter Card.

As in the year before there would be no difference between home or away games except for the shorts. Blue was home and red was away although there were games when the Warriors would wear their red shorts and socks at home when it contrasted better with the oppositions uniform such as in Round 11 against the Raiders.

Main Supplier - Nike
Major sponsor - DB Bitter
Sleeve sponsor - Barter Card
Upper back sponsor - No sponsor
Lower back sponsor - No sponsor
Home colours - White/Blue with blue shorts
Away colours -
White/Blue with red shorts

1999

[ATTACH=full]7967[/ATTACH]

The new season would see new owners and a new major sponsor take over the Warriors. The design would be similar to the original Super League but for some reason the blue panels on the lower sides wouldnt be as full as in previous years. There would also be a white trim by the underarm. The Nike makers patch would also be different as would the Warriors patch which was now sewn straight onto the jersey instead of being a separate patch. Most of the replicas sold wouldnt have the Vodafone sign on the upper back.

Main supplier - Nike
Major sponsor - Vodafone
Sleeve sponsor - Barter Card
Upper back sponsor -
Vodafone
Lower back sponsor - No sponsor
Home colours - White/Blue
Away colours -
White/Blue

2000

[ATTACH=full]7970[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH=full]7971[/ATTACH]
Puma would come on board and replace Nike as the new official supplier to the Warriors. With a new brand would come a new jersey design and Puma would come out with one of the weirdest designs in the clubs history.

The white home jersey would undergo a redesign with the blue V going down to the shorts and the blue side panels being erased.

For reasons unknown, a red away jersey was released. Produced mainly to avoid clashes with opponents this jersey however was worn at home on some occasions just as the home jersey was worn away. St George Illawarra was actually the last team fines for a jersey infringement after the Auckland Warriors were made to change into there away strip at Ericsson Stadium.

The green parts of the jersey that were a homage to original sponsors DB Bitter would be removed all together leaving the blue and white for the teams Auckland roots and a splash of red for the new sponsor Vodafone. DB would remain for one more year as a minor sponsor with the team drinking DB Natural Light.

One part that would remain green was the Warriors logo but for the first time the replica would feature a straight tongue in line with the players jerseys from the previous year.

Main supplier -
Puma
Major sponsor - Vodafone
Sleeve sponsor - Barter Card
Upper back sponsor - Vodafone
Lower back sponsor - No sponsor
Home colours - White
Away colours -Red

Variations
From 2000 on their would be no official variations sold and clubs and suppliers would own the rights to their jerseys. This concludes the 'Variations' section.

2001

[ATTACH=full]7969[/ATTACH]

Warriors would once again have new owners. Going from Auckland Warriors to the New Zealand Warriors the jersey would reflect this change by being predominately black. This would herald a new home colour that remains to this day.

New sleeve sponsor Lion Red who would replace Barter Card. Longtime Rugby League stalwarts Lion Nathan would come full circle having locked horns with DB Breweries in a fierce battle for naming rights back in 1994 during the formation of the team. This would see the end of the Lion Nathan owned DB brand relationship with the Warriors.

Another notable change was the new Telstra Premiership badge above the NRL badge.

The white home jersey from 2000 would be adopted as the away jersey. No white away jerseys were sold with the new Lion Red sleeve sponsor.

Main supplier - Puma
Major sponsor - Vodafone
Sleeve sponsor - Lion Red
Upper back sponsor - Vodafone
Lower back sponsor - No sponsor
Home colours - Black
Away colours - White


Major sponsor -
Sleeve sponsor -
Upper back sponsor -
Lower back sponsor -
Home colours -
Away colours -


Rarity -

Value -


Major sponsor -
Sleeve sponsor -
Upper back sponsor -
Lower back sponsor -
Home colours -
Away colours -


Rarity -

Value -


Major sponsor -
Sleeve sponsor -
Upper back sponsor -
Lower back sponsor -
Home colours -
Away colours -


Rarity -

Value -


1994

[ATTACH=full]7939[/ATTACH]

This jerseys only differences to the main replica is that the CCC logo is located above the NSWRL badge and there was no Ansett sleeve sponsor.

Rarity - Super Rare. I have only ever seen one jersey for sale on Trademe since 2007 but that was in bad condition.

Value -
$40-180. Most people wont care for the slight variation at all and view the jersey as simply an original home jersey.

[ATTACH=full]7940[/ATTACH]

This version was produced by Lenco. It had no Ansett sleeve sponsor and instead had Lenco written on both sleeves.

Rarity - Uncommon

Value -
$40-180

[ATTACH=full]7941[/ATTACH]

This version is again produced by Lenco but this time the Lenco logo is inside a diamond. For some reason I only ever see these examples on ebay.uk?

Rarity - Rare.

Value -
$40-180

1995

*Pic of CCC in the middle

This version only differed from the most common replica sold in that the CCC logo was located in the middle of the jersey in blue.

Rarity - Rare

Value -
$40-180

¹ Beleaguered! by Chris Mirams. Page 32
² Beleaguered! by Chris Mirams. Page 39