Brydens Lawyers NSW coach Brad Fittler has welcomed the NSWRL's innovative move to launch the first "limited edition" alternate strip in State of Origin history.
Fittler was joined in unveiling the Canterbury of New Zealand strip at The Star tonight (1 November) by current NSW players Tyson Frizell, and Jake and Tom Trbojevic, True Blues including Greg Alexander, Danny Buderus, Nathan Hindmarsh, Brett Finch and Steve Menzies, NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden and NSWRL Chairman Dr George Peponis OAM.
The bold new design, which will only be worn by the team for the second game of the 2019 Origin series at Optus Stadium in Perth, is predominantly navy blue while respecting the team's traditional colour of sky blue in the chevrons and on the sleeves.
Fittler, who was appointed as coach for the 2018 series and adopted a fresh approach after blooding 13 new faces on the way to ending a four-year series drought, said the Blues supported the game's decision to take Origin to new areas in Perth (2019) and Adelaide (2020).
"We pride ourselves on being innovative and this will be the first time in State of Origin history that a team has used an alternate jersey," Fittler said.
"It aligns with our vision of taking a fresh new approach to the series, and the game's decision to take Origin matches to new frontiers. We fully support any move to grow Rugby League's showpiece event to even more fans.
"We're confident our alternate strip will inspire a new generation of Blues supporters, and give the crowd in Perth even more reason to get behind us as we defend the Shield."
NSWRL Head of Commercial Jodie Cross said it had been a challenging but rewarding experience to come up with a design which respected tradition while welcoming a new era of fans.
"This is an exciting new era for the Blues and one that the NSWRL had readily embraced," Cross said.
"It was important for us to keep NSW's core elements intact, which is reflected in the chevron being incorporated into the design and the sky blue colour retained in the jersey.
"We urge all NSW supporters to get behind their team and take advantage of a unique opportunity to own a limited edition jersey."
Clothing sports giant Canterbury ushered in a new era for the Blues this season with a skin-tight strip and the innovations have continued for the 2019 jersey.
These include a raglan rear sleeve construction to reduce resistance through lateral arm motion and external stretch tape at back neck for strength and durability.
"Canterbury of New Zealand is extremely proud of the kit we have designed for the 2019 NSW State of Origin campaign," said Canterbury of New Zealand Managing Director Jamie Meikleham.
"It's an exciting evolution from 2018's historic series winning kit when we returned as a sponsor.
"The research, development and leading technology we have applied to the 2019 Blues kit is a testament to Canterbury's commitment to the game and to giving the Blues a winning edge."
Click here to pre-order the NSW Blues' limited edition alternate strip for the 2019 State of Origin series.