France Rugby 2013/14 Adidas Alternate Shirt

FranceAwayFront

Alongside the almost-but-not quite lovely France home shirt that we reviewed earlier this week, the FFR have also revealed a new alternate shirt to go with it, and unsurprisingly it’s white with a bit of blue. The meeting to decide that one must have been LONG.

It’s no bad thing, however – white France shirts of recent years have been altogether pretty damn successful. In fact, we’d go so far as to say we’ve preferred France wearing the alternate shirt than the home one. 

FranceAwayBadge

And on the surface, we have to say that it’s probably the case this time around, too. Our one initial reservation is the reason why we haven’t reviewed this kit until two days after it was launched. Confession time – we are proper, proper shit at French. If you dropped us in the middle of Brittany with nothing but our wits to guide us, we’d either starve to death or cause an international incident within a week.

So, when we’re covering French launches, we’re somewhat fumbling around in the dark, information-wise, and when we saw this shirt displayed with the other shirts at the launch, with nothing else to go on, we honestly assumed that it was a player’s media polo shirt. Look at it – tell us you would bat an eyelid seeing Thierry Dusautoir being prickly with some reporters wearing that in today’s pre-match press conference?

Some people on Twitter have suggested that it looks like something a 1990s Club 18-30 rep might have worn, but frankly, that’s bullshit – we all know that’s the Scotland away shirt.

FranceAwayDetail

Getting past that, however, there’s an awful lot to like here. One of our main issues with the home shirt was the weird herringbone pattern that gave the front of the jersey its hooped effect, and the various different shades of dark blue used on the front and sleeves/shoulder/back area of the shirt.

Here, things are a lot less messy – it’s plain white on the front, with no tacky patterns, and dark blue on the sleeves and shoulders. If anything, it’s perhaps a little bit too much blue for our liking, but at least they’ve kept the shades to a minimum.

FranceAwayStripes

Again, we get the France-ified Adidas stripes, and again, we have to say, we really enjoy the effect. We’re less keen on the light blue being mirrored on the placket of the collar – it looks a bit weird, and we honestly can’t say that the shirt would look worse if they just left it plain white. JUST STOP FIDDLING!

The real question about the stripes that we all want to know, however – how far to the stripes go? Are they gonna wrap around you like a patriotic scarf like the home shirt? Well… there’s only one way to find out:

FranceAwayBack

Of COURSE THEY DO. Yup, stripe shrugs are in this year, and this shirt is no exception. But… maybe we’re in an overly generous mood tonight, maybe we’ve just so many shirts in the last two months have sent us a bit crazy but… it actually kinda works here.

The combination of the white panels on the rear of the sleeves with the white on the stripes makes it work a lot better than it does on the home shirt. We’d still prefer it if it wasn’t there, but it doesn’t offend our eyes in quite the same way.

So there we have it, another hodge-podge French kit. Again, we think it’s a bit better than the home shirt, but we cant help but feel that Adidas needs to strip things back a little instead of continuing with this kitchen sink approach to shirt design.

SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD (JUST ABOUT)

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