You may have noticed that Toulon are rather good. After a few years of setting the foundations on the back of Mourad Boudjellal’s chequebook, the men from the Côte d’Azur have won everything since 2013, and show no signs of slowing down in their quest to create a modern rugby dynasty.
In tandem with the club’s rise to the top of the domestic and European tree, their shirts, produced by long-term supplier Burrda, have also been improving over the last couple of years. Last season’s designs weren’t the nicest ever (don’t mention the grey away shirt) but they were cool, and pretty individual, and a definite step up from the previous year’s garish, over-busy disaster.
The 2015/16 variant then, is another step forward. Gone are the slightly tacky sublimated lilly-of-the-valley sublimations of previous seasons, replaced with a much cooler graduated hooped design that’s very individual, but really rather eye-catching.
Toulon shirts traditionally incorporate a fair dollop of black in them, but here they’ve crammed the bulk of it into the bottom hoop around the base of the jersey, then gradually getting lighter and more red as we move up the jersey.
It’s an individual look that isn’t like anything else we’ve seen this season, and it’s hoops – which let’s face it, is a massive point n any jersey’s favour.
The new shirts this year also showcase the club’s overhauled new crest, which has added the word ‘Toulon’ at the top of the shield, and added a third star for their most recent Champions Cup triumph. It’s a subtle change, but not a bad one, ,and on the whole we quite like it.
Another welcome change that we assume is a result of the new badge is the mercifully scaled down ‘RC Toulon’ beneath the badge – in previous years it’s been stupidly massive and unnecessary, but it looks a lot less incongruous here.
The away shirt is black, as last year’s third shirt was, and it’s pretty clean and unfussy. The only real bit of ornamentation is a nice little throwback to the home shirt, with a series of graduated red panels running up the side vents.
It’s a nice little addition to what would otherwise be a very, very plain design, and is a clever little way to add a common theme between the home and away shirts.
The third shirt is basically the same as the away, but white as opposed to black, and with the same red hoop panels along the side, though they pop a lot more here against the white than they do on the home shirt.
On the plus side though, it’s not trying to look like a horrible daggy grey gym tshirt, unlike last year’s away design, so we’ll take it!
Toulon don’t look like they’re going anywhere, and are set to be fixtures in the top echelon of domestic and European rugby for the foreseeable future. It’s good then, that Burrda appears to improving their designs every season.
While the away and third shirts are a little bit uninspiring, they’re still nice, while the home shirt is both cool and unusual. Do’t bet against a fourth star being added to that badge next season either…
SHIT/GOOD RATING: Good