The French Top 14 is rightly regarded as one of the most competitive and high-quality leagues in world rugby. The lure of the Euro sees some of the best and biggest players from both hemispheres plying their trade in France, but do they look like dickheads while they’re fattening up their retirement funds? Well, there’s only one way to find out – with a patented* Rugby Shirt Watch shirt round-up…

(* not patented at all)

Castres Olympique


The shock 2012/13 Top 14 Champions will have a hard time repeating this year with the likes of Toulon and Toulouse spending megabucks on recruitment yet again, and sadly, their probably doomed quest will be undertaken in a pretty rubbish shirt. You don’t see a lot of Asics rugby shirts, and on this evidence, it’s probably for the best. As is often the case, there’s the makings of a decent shirt here, but the weird multi-toned blue shield on the front of the shirt is plain ugly. Merde.


RCT Toulon


Chances are, Toulon fans are far too busy pinching themselves about who will be wearing the shirt of the Euro champs this season than what it looks like this year, but if we were Drew Mitchell or Bryan Habana, we’d be tempted to wangle a paper bag clause into our fat new contracts when presented with this Burrda stinker. The tacky flowers on the side panels are bad enough, but the weird, terrible-font ‘Toulon’ underneath the Burrda ‘wave’ is just unforgivable. Everyone knows who you are already because you’re richer than God, so stop rubbing it in, okay?


ASM Clermont Auvergne


French rugby’s perennial nearly men were beaten in the Heineken Cup final last year, but they’re smashing their Mediterranean rivals in the new shirt stakes. The real thing will probably be cluttered up with sponsors logos by the time we see it in Euro action, but let’s take a moment to appreciate the understated nature of this Under Armour design (it’s not often we get to say that). For once the weird textured panels and coloured flashes actually work to save this kit from being boring, and condensing the UA logo and club badges into the upper chest section gives a lovely symmetry you don’t often see on a modern shirt – tres bon!


Read the rest of our Top 14 Shirt Round-up: Part 2Part 3


6 thoughts on “Top 14 2013/14 shirt round-up – part 1


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