The Wallabies have revealed the jersey they’ll be wearing to the World Cup in Japan starting in September, but apparently things didn’t go to plan following the sacking of star player Israel Folau.
The new jersey was revealed at a press conference in Sydney yesterday by sportswear sponsor ASICS and also included an accompanying TVC called “Move as one”. You can check out the spot here.
However, The Sydney Morning Herald is today reporting the entire campaign had to be reshot after Folau was sacked by Rugby Australia two weeks ago for making repeated homophobic comments on social media.
According to the report, Folau was the poster boy of the campaign and featured heavily in the original TVC and the promotion of the new jersey.
ASICS not only decks out the players, but wants the fans to snap up the jersey – en masse – too.
The sportswear brand also sponsored Folau, but parted ways earlier this month with ASICS saying that although he was entitled to his views they were “not aligned with those of ASICS”.
With Folau sacked, the new focus of ASICS’ campaign became Wallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley.
Apparently, ASICS had to rush a camera crew to South Africa earlier this month to reshoot the ad with Foley who was playing for NSW in the Super Rugby tournament.
In a release sent to media yesterday, Foley said of the jersey: “The jersey is an excellent balance between fast and strong. ASICS have achieved the most technologically advanced jersey to help give our boys the advantage in Japan.”
The whole Folau fiasco looked set to derail the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign only four months out from the tournament. Some players had reportedly said they would not play alongside Folau if Rugby Australia reinstated him. While others – namely those of Polynesian descent – had publicly expressed sympathy with his views.
However, it now looks like everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet following the long and protracted fallout from the affair.
Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi telling the Herald: “We all care about Izzy, every single player. We know he’s doing it tough at the moment with the whole situation but we have a job to do here.
“We’ve all spoken to each other and understand how we all feel about everything but we have to focus on one little thing right now and that’s footy.”