In our first two installments of our Heineken Cup 2013/14 shirt round-up we’ve seen designs both good and bad from the top clubs across Europe. Today we’re taking a gander at three more that you’ll see appearing on the field this weekend, let’s get stuck in…
We’ll level with you, more often than not, the first shirt you see on our round-ups is a pretty good one – it might be a little cynical on our part, but hey, we’d much rather temp you lot in with a nice handsome design than a visual abortion. And if you told us a few weeks ago that we’d be putting a Benetton Treviso at the top of a round-up that featured shirts from Leinster and Castres, we’d have said you were frankly, fucking mental.
And yet… well just look at that. If there’s one thing we love on a shirt, it’s some hoops. And if there’s another thing we love on a shirt, it’s a good splash of criminally underrated, rarely seen orange. This shirt is, frankly, the best of both worlds.
We don’t care that the colour scheme appears to have been directly chosen to reflect the colours of the main shirt sponsor – crane and earth-moving hardware producers Cofiloc – this is one of our favourite shirts this season.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: Excellente!
As with this year’s Leicester Tigers European shirt, you’ll probably find this Leinster euro design looks rather familiar. Yup, they’re sticking with last year’s option this time around (interestingly, both shirts are made by Canterbury, so we wonder if this is going to become a regular pattern for the company).
There’s certainly an ‘if it ain’t broke…’ way of looking at this design, because there’s very little doubt that it’s a handsome shirt, unlike the Tigers’ tiger-striped eyesore. But we’re a bit puzzled as to why they’ve bothered keeping it when the home shirt, plus a few stripes and some white paint, is pretty much identical. It’s hard to get hugely bothered by it, because after all, if you’ve already bought the shirt, you’re getting an extra year’s use out of it, but we can’t help wondering if they might have sold a lot more of them if they’d tried something a bit different. Peculiar.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: Deja vu-tiful
Reigning Top 14 champions Castres don’t have a lot of European pedigree, and as such they’re in a group of death with Leinster, Northampton and Ospreys. It’s certainly not going to be an easy road for them, but we wouldn’t bet against them causing a few upsets this year.
And they’ll be doing it in a shirt that, almost in spite of ourselves, we actually quite like! We weren’t very taken with Asics’ home shirt design – it’s just weird, what’s going on with that weird shield on the front? It’s a mess. And yet, so is this, really – after all, it’s just random lines shooting across the shirt in various colours – but we like it. It’s just so, well, French, isn’t it? The colours, the design, the nonchalance with which the perfectly colour-coordinated stripes are strewn across the jersey. It just works, even though it shouldn’t – and that’s a pretty good metaphor for Castres as a whole.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD
Check back tomorrow for the final part of our Heineken Cup 2013/14 shirt round-up.