Imitation shows limitation of imagination

The All Blacks' kit suppliers cancelled a planned party in Auckland called "Black is beautiful". Because, clearly it is anything but at the moment.

New Zealand's sporting glitterati missed out on a knees-up this week, after the All Blacks' kit suppliers cancelled a planned party in Auckland called "Black is beautiful".

Because, clearly it is anything but at the moment. If anything, black is more trouble than its worth.

First it was England, who suffered grief for picking black as their new change colour of choice for the Rugby World Cup. New Zealand's prime minister said England were "thumbing their noses" at the host nation. Someone should tell him imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

England played their first game in it last Saturday, and looked smart. They also look like they want to be something they are not, like the children at school who are in between the nerds and the cool gang, but dress cool in an attempt to be accepted.

Tomorrow Wales will go the same way. Before 1987, when they were forced to wear green because of a clash with Tonga in a World Cup match, Wales only ever wore red. For solely commercial reasons they will definitely play at least one group match in New Zealand in black, even though none of their pool opponents wear red.

Even New Zealand cannot get it quite right, and they have had more practice at it than anyone.

Rather than the appearance, though, for them it is the price. All Blacks supporters have been boycotting Adidas because of the prohibitive cost of the World Cup strip. The new black is a good deal less than beautiful.

Published: August 12, 2011 04:00 AM

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