When newly crowned Top 14 champions Racing 92 signed up with Le Coq Sportif, it seemed like the ideal melding of brands – not least because it brought the legendary French supplier back into rugby after too long away. We were big fans of the retro-styled home jersey that was revealed at the end of June, but now we’re going to check out Racing’s other two shirts for 2016/17.
The away shirt is perhaps the most unconventional design, opting for a light grey heathered design that looks more like a gym t-shirt than a rugby shirt – and is there a rule in the Top 14 that says the champions have to have such an away jersey?
While it’s all very plain and t-shirt-like at the front – a vibe aided by that curious classic-but-not-really collar that was also used on the home shirt, around the back things get really rather lovely.
Racing have used a large blue and white stripe on their change shirts once or twice in recent years, but that’s usually been around the front, not across the back here. We think it looks absolutely stunning on a plain shirt, but we’re not sure how it will look with a number running through it.
The third jersey is much more like what we’ve come to expect from a Racing change shirt in recent seasons, and indeed, it’s just a straight palette swap of the away shirt, but what a lovely palette it is.
The dark blue colour works so well with the sky blue and white of the club badge and the band across the back, while bringing out the subtle tricolore accents on the collar and the Le Coq Sportif badge.
Le Coq Sportif have spent a lot of time working in pro cycling over the last decade, and the stripe across the back definitely has something of Le Tour about it (incidentally, that’s also where the curious collar design seems to have originated) – but we’re not sure it entirely works on a rugby shirt.
Still, there’s no getting away from the fact that both of these jerseys look great, and have a real retro flair that really suits this most stylish of rugby clubs. Dan Carter will be pleased, we’re sure…