Jake White’s Montpellier have become almost a dirty word in French rugby for their negative, attritional style of play – despite it taking the club to third in the Top 14 table last season, while also securing a maiden European trophy. In truth, the club’s association with Puma hasn’t really done much to distract from the ugliness over the last few years, but all that’s about to change…
Yes, proof that you can’t keep a good brand down, Kappa France may have lost their contract with Racing 92, but they’ve picked themselves up and snagged another big gun of French rugby, and they’ve clearly gone all out to show Racing any everyone else just what they’re missing.
Just look at it! It’s rather ironic that a dark blue shirt with a prominent sky blue and white hooped band around the chest is rather similar to Racing’s third shirt this season, but there’s plenty of room for similar designs that are quite this stunning in the world, we reckon.
Wel love the way the hoops continue onto the sleeves, the sky blue stitching on the shoulders, and of course Kappa’s swirly tri-colour collar… it’s all so god damn stylish, it can only have come through the combined power of French and Italian brands…
The change shirt takes a different spin on the overall hoopy theme, and comes up with a very different looking jersey – something that we’re always pleased to see when it comes to away jerseys.
We’re not sure if we love it quite as much as the home shirt, but the dark blue pinstriped hoop accented by that single sky blue pinstripe at the top of each one, is a really nice, really unique design.
We also adore the sleeve cuffs here, with the thinner hoops giving a 1970s football shirt vibe to proceedings, which some people might not like on a rugby shirt, admittedly, but we think it looks great.
What’s more, for a French club rugby shirt, there’s a remarkable lack of sponsor logos used here – just the single main one on the front. It’s not uncommon for French teams to release replicas without many of the intrusive sponsors that clutter the on-field jerseys, but we hope they don’t go too mad with the real things, as these shirts deserve to remain as clean as possible.
Montpellier’s platoon of bruising South Africans might not win the club the hearts of too many neutrals with their style of play, but this year the shirts they’re playing in will truly be some of the best.