We’ve made it! After a week of working our way through the 2013 shirts of the French Top 14, we’ve reached the final pair. If you’ve enjoyed this run down, read on at the end where we’ll run through our pick of the most noteworthy alternate jerseys we’ll see in France this year.
Union Bordeaux Bègles
There’s more than a little hint of the region’s footballing alter-ego in this Bordeaux Bègles shirt, but while the ‘V’ might be instantly dismissed as a cheap rugby league knockoff, we rather like it. As with some other Kappa shirts, it does look a little bit too football to be a true classic, but the maroon and white ‘V’ is such an interesting, unique design flourish, it’s hard not to like this.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD
As the originators of the ‘weird’ rugby shirt design, we had to leave Stade until last, didn’t we? There’s not a lot left that could really shock us as far as the Paris club’s gaudy kit designs go. Perhaps that’s why this year’s effort is almost low key. To be honest, the fact that the shirt is white, as opposed to the usual blue or pink, is probably the most notable thing – the impressionist flowers on the bottom of the shirt barely raise an eyebrow. We’re not fans to be honest – at least when Stade were dark blue with pink lightning bolts, they had a bit of identity, whereas this just feels like a club trying to be ‘weird’ but not really having many ideas left. Pity.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: SHIT
BONUS – ALTERNATE SHIRTS
Even we’re not anal enough to round-up all the alternate shirts in the Top 14, but here’s a quick look at some of the best (and worst) alternate offerings…
Just look at it. Preppy, yes. Gorgeous, yes. Even nicer than the home? Maybe…
ASM Clermont Auvergne
Call us boring, but we really like a grey shirt – we really dig the subtle yellow and blue accents that hark to the club’s colours, while still looking very clean and subtle.
Making a non-gaudy shirt out of the Catalan flag is no easy job – just ask Barcelona – but by keeping it subtle, USAP have made a kit that’s both good-looking and faithful to their roots.
There’s always one turd in the trifle, isn’t there? We had to look really hard to find a truly awful shirt in the Top 14 this year, but this baby blue with Granny’s bedsheets accents really takes the cake. Eugh.
So there we have it, thanks for sticking with us through our monster trawl through this season’s Top 14 shirts – we hope you’ve been mildly entertained, and stick with us for more shirts from the Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect Pro 12 over the next few weeks.