It’s been rumoured that Adidas has adopted a policy of supplying one team in every top-flight European league, so with the end of the German firm’s long association with Stade Francais at the end of the 2014/15 season, they needed a new standard-bearer in the Top 14 – and the Corréziens were happy to take on the mantle.
Compared to the wild and eye-catching jerseys that Adidas had been associated with during their time with the Parisians, however, things couldn’t have got off to a much more low-key start over in Brive last year, with two of the plainest, cleanest jerseys around.
This year, things are a little bit more interesting, but what we have here is still a very restrained pair of jerseys – the home is a near-identical plain white shirt to last year, but with the addition of black half-cuffs on the sleeves, and an interesting double band of thick and thin white stripes across the chest and the bottom of the jersey.
The away flavour is basically the same but in black, with the same thick and thin striped bands across the front of the design, this time in white. One slightly odd change is that we have no white sleeve cuffs, but we do have a rather nice white collar placket instead. A slightly pointless bit of difference, but at least they’re trying eh?
These are both nice, clean looking shirts, but there’s something a little off about them, and that’s because there’s one key thing missing from these designs – sponsors. Yeah, we know – you hate jerseys with sponsors plastered all over them, and French teams are perhaps the worst offenders.
But the thing is, when shirts are clearly designed to accommodate sponsors on them, taking them away for the replica, as has been done here, just makes everything look off and unbalanced. Here’s how the jerseys are supposed to look by the way – notice how that massive gap between the two stripes looks a lot less weird with something between them?
Mild sponsor annoyances aside, however, these are still very nice jerseys – but once again we’re left feeling slightly uninspired. We all know what mad brilliance Adidas can produce when they’re allowed, and maybe Brive aren’t the sort of club that wants a really unconventional shirt – but we say roll with it, embrace your inner weird and try something a bit more out there next season!