France Rugby 2016/17 Adidas Home Shirt

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Since Adidas took over responsibilities for Les Bleus from Nike back in 2012, the German firm has taken quite a retro approach to jersey design – with jerseys that often recalled France’s 70s and 80s glory years being the general rule of thumb. It’s safe to say that things are changing this season, however…

It shouldn’t be any surprise, really, as Adidas are one of the most bold and forward-thinking suppliers out there – flick through our Adidas tag and tell us we’re wrong – and the company’s eye-grabbing away shirt from last season was clearly a statement of intent…

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Which brings us to this shirt… and on the one hand, after a few years wearing bright blue, it’s actually quite nostalgic to see France back in the darker shade in which they enjoyed so much success in the 2000s, but that’s about the only thing here that could be classed as nostalgic in any way.

Across the front of the shirt we have a striking, unique geometric pattern that zig-zags its way up the jersey creating a variety of jagged, broken geometric shapes – it’s sort of like Tron meets Spider-Man, but it’s not just some weird random squiggle, oh no…

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No, apparently these striking patterns are actually designed to reflect perhaps the most well-worn maxim of French rugby – that unpredictable French flair. Yup, just like ‘you never know which French team are going to turn up’ you never know where this pattern is going to go – representing the intuitive and unexpected lines that traditionally made Les Bleus such a joy to watch in full flight.

We say traditionally, because as anyone who has watched the French team in the last five years will already know, flair has been in rather short supply in that famous blue shirt of late, and Guy Noves’ France will have to seriously up their game to do this shirt’s theme justice.

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We know that some people feel very strongly that national team shirts should be just as dour and predictable as the French gameplan last season, but we think there’s always room for a bit of experimentation, provided that it doesn’t deviate too far from the quintessential national recipe.

It’s a close run thing, but we think this shirt just about stays on the right side of that – we understand that some might think it’s a bit too much like a training or sevens shirt, but in this era of retro-obsessed design, we think it’s fun for someone to take a flyer at doing something defiantly modern.

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3 comments

  1. Egad!! Sacre Bleu! This will take time to get used to. As someone who is always up to date on France rugby gear, I may skip this year…

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