Beaten finalists last season, Clermont Auvergne will go into the second Rugby Champions Cup with plans to go one better this season. Whether they can win the whole thing or not, however, there’s little doubt the men from Clermont-Ferrand will be a force in the tournament, and we’ll be seeing a whole lot of their new Under Armour European shirt before it’s done…
To say that we weren’t exactly in love with the Clermont home and away shirts, with their absolutely ghastly and unnecessary camo trim, and this year ASM are breaking from tradition by making their European shirt black, as opposed to the more traditional white.
Does it work? Well, not really. On the one hand, the black overpowers the potency of the predominantly blue camo pattern overall, making it seem a bit less garish than the home design, but on the other, the dark colour palette then makes all the yellow bits stand out much more, like a small child has spilled their yellow paint all over the damn place.
There’s no getting away from the fact that camo on rugby shirts looks appalling, and even more so when it’s blue and yellow camo – unless you’re trying to conceal yourself in a crowd of minions, it’s hardly very effective is it? It might not be the worst camo offender we’ve seen on a shirt this season, but it’s still pretty dire.
What’s more, given that Clermont are in a Champions Cup pool with Ospreys (who play in black) and Exeter (who play in black), we’re really not sure why the powers that be at the club decided to choose this season to deviate from the norm and have a black Euro design, as they’re going to have to wear something else for a third of their pool games (here’s hoping it’s the white change shirt, for tradition’s sake). Maybe somebody in the club felt that given all the near misses ASM have had in Europe, the white shirt was cursed? It looks a helluva lot better than this mind, you have to say.
Overall though, we can’t help but feel a bit sad, because with some other kind of blue and yellow pattern that wasn’t camo, they would have been a tidy shirt. Hell, all three shirts this year would probably have been very nice with almost any other type of pattern of blue and yellow used on the trim here.
So, rugby shirt designers (and we know a lot of you read this!) next time you’re thinking about using camo… do everyone a favour and just please, please don’t. It’s tired, it’s tacky… it’s borderline offensive. Try polkadots instead. Or Paisley! Or anything! Anything but this.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: Shit