There’s few things with as long a heritage and history in Australia as boot maker R.M. Williams but rugby union is one of them. According to legend, the sport was recorded being played at Sydney University as early as 1860.
It makes perfect sense then that the pair would join forces ahead of the Wallabies travelling to France for the 2023 Rugby World Cup tour to create a capsule collection that honours the spirit, and history, of both in the first of a multi-year partnership with Rugby Australia.
The limited edition capsule collection – which consists of rugby staples including cotton rugby jerseys, caps, knitted socks, hats and beanies made with Woolmark certified Merino wool plus a limited edition run of the brand’s bestselling Comfort Craftsman and Lady Yearling boots – draws inspiration from rugby’s hey day in the 90s, with fonts and motifs used by Rugby Australia and R.M. Williams during that decade.
But more than just nostalgia, the collection is a time capsule: the very specific cornflower blue used was the same blue that national rugby team wore at the turn of the 20th Century while the chestnut recalls the rich brown of R.M. Williams’ leather and the colour of a limited edition football also available to purchase from the brand.
The designs also include a unique woven patch which incorporate the classic R.M.Williams longhorn, the year in which the business was founded and RMW, the legendary founder’s initials.
As Rugby Australia enters its “Golden Decade”, the return of R.M. Williams to the sport marks a turning point for the game. While the men’s side goes from strength to strength, the rapid rise in popularity of women’s rugby, and the excellence of the women’s team The Wallaroos, proves that Australia is falling back in love with the national game.
In a statement released on the collaboration, Rugby Australia CEO Phil Waugh said he was “thrilled to see the Wallabies x R.M.Williams collection brought to life in what’s truly a coming together of two brands that are iconically Australian.”
“The new collection will undoubtedly be a hit with supporters and more widely, we’re extremely happy to have R.M.Williams back on board supporting Rugby Australia and our national teams throughout the golden decade.”
Paul Grosmann, CEO of R.M.Williams added that the R.M. team was “so pleased to see this next chapter of our partnership with Rugby Australia come to life, particularly in the form of a collection that celebrates a great Australian Union.
“It will be a source of great pride to see fans donning their R.M.Williams x Wallabies kit, particularly as we prepare to cheer Australia on in France.”