Johannesburg - Springbok players could well be receiving individualised jerseys to suit their body types and individual needs in the coming years if technology continues its current trend.
GALLERY: Overseas Springbok XV
According to the supersport.com website, South African Rugby Union CEO Jurie Roux hinted at this possibility as his organisation closed a six year deal with new kit sponsor Asics in Johannesburg on Tuesday, after the new sponsor promised to deliver groundbreaking technological advances to the jersey before the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Roux said any new developments on the jersey would have to abide with the IRB Regulations, but that he is sure that the Japanese company want to cement their move into rugby by ensuring that they make a big impact in the game.
Asics have said they want to 'reinvent the World Cup' and have promised a revolutionary new jersey by the time the showpiece tournament comes around and have put their impressive Kobe Sports Institute to the Boks assistance to get this right.
"We have to do it using the IRB Regulations.
"Guys have tried to design little hooks on pants and it wasn’t allowed.
"You need a balance.
"You need guys to slip when they try and tackle you and you need grip when you want to pick up someone in the lineout.
"I’m sure we’ll get to those technical aspects and they will do the best they can do.
"I’m sure at the high end at the Springboks you’ll get to the point where you’ll get individual jerseys based on individual needs.
"For the next tier you’ll have a generic one, but technically possibly the best generic one.
"The scrum will always be an issue.
"You can ask 10 front row players and they’ll give you 10 different answers on what they want."
Alistair Cameron, president and CEO of ASICS EMEA, said his company would be putting a lot of effort into the new jersey when it is launched later this year.
"The opportunity is to take everything we’ve done in the past and apply that to rugby.
"Its an awful lot of work, but we have 100 scientists in our laboratory in Kobe, Japan to do that.
"It is a priority and for the past five months we have had teams from all areas of our business working on this.
"They are very excited at the prospect," Cameron said.
Roux said the Boks would be looking for a state of the art jersey from their new suppliers to ensure they get the extra 1% to improve their performance.
"What you want is that extra 1%.
"In the end the top 4/5 teams in the world all have good players, coaches and are all fit.
"What you need is that extra 1%.
"What they’ve done with the French Athletic Federation we hope to do with the Springboks.
"They would help with purpose designed apparel to give us that extra 1%," he added.
The Springbok Sevens will be the first to wear the new kit in January at the Las Vegas Sevens.