It’s safe to say that the 2015/16 season didn’t go quite to plan for Clermont Auvergne – they might have finished top of the regular season Top 14 standings, but the club once again came a cropper in the playoffs, bowing out in the semi-final.
Now, if we were being totally honest, we might argue that Clermont’s disappointing year might have had some karmic relation to the fact that last season the club embraced that most loathsome and hideous of rugby jersey trends… camo.
Clermont will be hoping for some better luck this year, now that they’ve mercifully decided to abandon the Ikea-pattern camo and sensibly opted for something a damned sight more tasteful and generally awful for the jersey trim.
Indeed, asides from the removal of the universally offensive object (have we mentioned we HATE CAMO?!) here’s very little change between this year’s shirt and last year’s – it’s the same basic Under Armour template that we also saw used by Wales and Canada, with the same contrasting trim areas (though oddly, the under arms, which were blue last year, are now yellow on the home shirt.
Once again, Under Armour has opted to make the alternate shirt white – traditionally the colour of the Clermont European jersey – but again, other than that, the shirt is identical to last year’s design.
Once thing that is noticeable about these shirts compared to previous Clermont designs is that shade of blue used. Traditionally the shade is a much brighter, royal blue – the shade of the Michelin company, due to the fact that ASM founder, Marcel Michelin, was the son of the famous tire firm’s co-founder, André.
A quick glance at the back of the jerseys with its prominent Michelin sponsor logo makes it clear that the shade used this year is a fair bit darker than normal – we’re not sure why that’s been done, but it definitely gives the shirts a more moody vibe…
Normally we’d be rather disappointed in a team bringing out a new shirt that was completely identical to last year’s version aside from a minor change to the trim. However, what we’re talking about here is the merciful removal of the most hideous jersey crime that can be committed from an otherwise totally inoffensive design, so who cares?