France Rugby Adidas Rugby World Cup 2015 Alternate Shirt

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Earlier this week we checked out the new France Rugby World Cup 2015 home shirt from Adidas… well we say new, asides from an interesting an rather symbolic new flourish it was pretty much exactly the same as the shirt they’ve been wearing since the Autumn. So, what do we have with the alternate shirt? More of the same?

Well, to be honest, compared with the shirt that France memorably wore in the Six Nations, you have to say that there’s even less change here than there was on the home shirt! For reasons we can’t quite comprehend, the Jean-Pierre Rives Memory Ribbons motif that was added to the home shirt hasn’t been included here at all. Odd.

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Instead, what we have here is a shirt that’s actually removed some things from the home design, without replacing anything, the obligatory Rugby World Cup patch aside.

On the home shirt, the Adidas over-the-shoulder stripes that were a pretty striking part of the top line of the design, but tournament rules have forbidden the stripes since 1999 (only a single manufacturer’s logo is allowed) so instead the Memory Ribbons went over the shoulder in the same place.

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Here, however, we have no Memory Ribbons either – if the stripes had to go anyway, why not also include the Rives motif here too? Odd.

Equally odd, is the inclusion of a detail here that we noticed had been removed on the home shirt – namely the tiny little ‘FFR’ stamp on the bottom of the collar placket. It’s a curious, slightly haphazard approach to the smaller details of the design that we can’t quite get our heads around.

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One detail of the design that has been retained is one that will definitely polarise people – the giant wings that emanate from the ribcage on the jersey round onto the back.

We have to say we weren’t too keen on these at first, there was something a bit ‘regrettable back tattoo‘ about it, and while that’s still the case on some level, we’re maybe feeling like this tattoo isn’t quite so regrettable. In fact, we actually quite like it – it’s an unexpected inclusion on such a clean, plain shirt, like bit of Gallic flair in amongst all the stern, German design.

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We really liked this shirt when it was revealed back in February – some people weren’t keen on France playing in red, but we thought it was striking, unusual, and above all a really gorgeous, sleek shirt design.

This is equally successful, what with is being pretty much the same and everything, though we can’t help but be a bit baffled at the reasons behind the subtraction and addition of seemingly arbitrary details on the jersey compared to the home. If nothing else, this World Cup with give us a chance to see Les Bleus run out in this a few more times, and that’s no bad thing at all.

SHIT/GOOD RATING: Good

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