Aviron Bayonnais 2014/15 Kappa Home, Alternate & Third Shirts

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The 2013/14 Northern Hemisphere season has finally come to a close – it was a season filled with strife, controversy and excitement both on and off the field, and it was certainly memorable. That’s all in the past now, though, as before you know it, the 2014/15 season will be upon us – and with it, the most exciting part of any rugby season (yes it is, shut up) new shirts!

We’re starting out with a team that certainly played its part in the three-ring circus that was rugby union in 2013/14. From sacking a certain Lions scrum-half, to axing coaches and suspending players for drunken behaviour, things were hardly quiet in Bayonne last season – but for all their strife and discord, there was one thing we could all celebrate – that bloody home shirt.

Just look at it! A design that’s as unusual as it was fetching, with a wonderful colour palette that it was just impossible not to like. Even with the silly flowers.

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Which brings us to this year’s effort… and… well oh dear. They got the colours right, we suppose… just a pity it looks like they’ve the world’s least exuberant German architecture student to design it. Whereas last year it was all fluid lines and interesting shapes… this looks like someone’s stitched together a couple of pairs of surgical scrubs. It’s not offensive, its just bland, and uninspired. Kappa are Italian for Chrissake, they’re suppose to make the rest of us look like we got dressed in a field in the dark… poor effort.

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Things get, to be generous, mildly better with the alternate shirt. By keeping things all black, with the sky blue accents, it doesn’t have the cobbled-together feel of the home shirt.

In fact, it’s a pretty decent, coherent design, and we like sublimated off-colour stripes down the front of the shirt – it lifts it from what could have been a very bland shirt into something that’s a little bit more stylish.

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Oh, and our old friends the flowers make a return on the bottom left of the shirt. They’re actually a trio of ‘lauburu’ or Basque crosses – an ancient symbol of the Basque region. While our main reason for liking it might well be that it reminds us of the halcyon days of last season’s non-awful shirts, it’s also a nice, classy way to reflect the history of the region where Bayonne is situated, unlike the next shirt…

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Yes, after smashing it out of the park so enthusiastically with home and alternate shirts, it’s of course only natural that Bayonne and Kappa would decide to design a wholly unnecessary third shirt while they had a hot hand and… oh…

Yes, this is without doubt the worst of the lot, on pretty much every level.

First up – let’s talk about the colours. Yes, we understand that the red and green is presumably being used as a nod to the Basque flag but… eugh… it’s just a nasty combination, isn’t it? It makes the new away shirt of recently relegated Basque side Biarritz look positively fetching by comparison… Perhaps stick with the lauburu?

Especially using green as the main colour, it just looks awful. To be honest, it looks like something Dan Lydiate or Sean O’Brien might wear when they’re mucking out the sheds on their respective farms and… well that’s a look we’re all secretly trying to capture isn’t it?

As for the way the red goes up the sleeves and over the shoulders, but not in any kind of clean, coherent way… well it’s just not a great look is it? If there was ever a third shirt we’d be happy to never see on the field, it’s this one.

So er… woo… 2014/15 season… yeah… not the best start, by any stretch, but look at it this way, we’ve got dozens of teams revealing new clobber over the next few months, and nearly all of them will be better than this trio, so we’ve got loads to look forward to, right guys? Guys…?

SHIT/GOOD RATING: SHIT

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