Rugby

10 Glorious AIL Jerseys From The Heyday Of The AIL In The Early 2000s

10 Glorious AIL Jerseys From The Heyday Of The AIL In The Early 2000s

Ah, the glory days of the AIL. Way back when, before the provinces took over as the be all and end all of domestic rugby on the island.

Not only did we get to witness more international players tog out for their clubs, but we were also blessed with an array of iconic fashion attire that were the early 2000s AIL jerseys.

The designs were simple, the collars were classic, and their bagginess oozes nostalgia.

Below are some well-known Irish rugby figures sporting some of these kits in the AIB League two decades ago.

Cork Constitution

1 March 2003; Ronan O'Gara, Cork Con, in action against UL Bohs. AIB All-Ireland League, Division 1, UL Bohemians v Cork Constitution, Thomond Park, Limerick. Rugby. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE *EDI*
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We'll start off with a few of the better known classics from the Munster clubs that dominated the AIL in the 90's and early 00's. Cork Con's all white number with the big Esso logo was a classic.

Shannon

4 May 2002; Shannon players Mick Galwey, left, and John Hayes sing the Shannon song "There is an Isle" following their side's victory during the AIB All-Ireland League Division 1 Final match between Cork Constitution and Shannon at Lansdowne Road in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

 

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25th April 1998; Anthony Foley of Shannon lifting the cup following the AIB All-Ireland League Division 1 Final match between Garryowen and Shannon at Lansdowne Road in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

An older, but nicer fit than the one above. Axel looks magnificent in this long sleeved beauty.

Blackrock

22 January 2000; Brian O'Driscoll, Blackrock College. AIB League Rugby, Division 2, Blackrock College v Belfast Harlequinns, Stradbrook, Dublin. Picture credit: Damien Eagers / SPORTSFILE

BOD never looked better except maybe in a Lions '01 or Ireland '06 jersey.

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Belvedere

2 December 2000; Simon Keogh, Old Belvedere, celebrates after scoring his sides second half try. Old Belvedere v Wanderers. AIB League Division 2. Anglesea Rd. Rugby. Picture credit; David Maher/SPORTSFILE

This is arguably the best of the lot. Ex-Leinster star Simon Keogh dons a crisp black and white stunner. It wouldn't look out of place on a shelf in Brown Thomas, or on a night out in Krystle. The crest, the logo, and sponsor all blend perfectly.

Landsdowne

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19 January 2002; Fiachra Baynes of Landsdowne RFC during the AIB All-Ireland League Division 1 match between Shannon RFC and Lansdowne RFC at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Damien Eagers/Sportsfile

Ex-Leinsterman Fiachra Baynes in a lovely entry from Gilbert with Landsdowne's away strip.

St. Mary's

9 February 2002; Malcolm O'Kelly of St Mary's College during the AIB All-Ireland League match between Garryowen and St Mary's College at Dooradoyle in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Here's Big Mal donning the St. Mary's jersey with the iconic star. One of Umbro's few entries into rugby.

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Garryowen

21 January 2000; Keith Wood of Garryowen during the AIB All-Ireland League Division 1 match between Garryowen and St Mary's at Dooradoyle in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Woody in a particularly stylish Garryowen kit from Canterbury. It seems a bit of design effort was put into this one. An example of the luck involved with a club sponsor's logo that blends well.

Clontarf

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10 May 2003; Bernard Jackman, Clontarf. AIB League Division 1 Final, Clontarf v Ballymena, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

The combo of the 'Tarf red and blue and Jackman's ginger hair is perfection. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt that it was early on in the game, as his top looks suspiciously clean for an AIL game.

Young Munster

12 February 2000; Peter Clohessy of Young Munster during the AIB League Division 1 match between Young Munster and Terenure College at Tom Clifford Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The Claw showing off his neat passing skills in an interesting jersey from Rugbytech, who were the 'cool' brand back in the day.

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Belfast Harlequins

4 May 2002; Rhys Botha of Belfast Harlequins during the AIB All-Ireland League Division 2 Final match between Belfast Harlequins v UL Bohemian at Lansdowne Road in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

A funky one from the men up North, proving furthermore that Canterbury reigned supreme in this era of AIL jerseys.

See Also: 5 Irish Players That Need A Move This Month

Colman Stanley

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