One of the great constants of the rugby shirt world is that, no matter what happens – no matter what trends grip the kit designers of the world – Racing 92 will have a truly gorgeous home shirt… at least, that used to be the case.
And there’s no doubt that while the Racing 92 2018/19 jerseys might have similarly lovely basic designs as seasons past – not least the home’s timeless blue and white hoops – things are afoot here that have caused something of a stir, and with good reason.
French club rugby jerseys have a long and not particularly glorious history of going overboard on the sponsor side of things, and sure enough, the front of the on field jerseys are plastered with them… but what they’ve done to fit them on… well…
Yup, they’ve gone and shoved the club crest on the bottom right hand corner of the shirt, meaning that there’s not a single word on the top 75% of the design that isn’t an advert.
It’s a shame that the badge placement is all we can really talk about here, because if it wasn’t in such a ridiculous place, we could spend more time talking about how the base designs of these jerseys are actually very nice. The red/blue accents on the home shirt look great, as do the heathered blue and grey away designs.
But the fact of the matter is that by shunting the club crest – the symbol of the club’s very identity – off to a place where it might very well end up being tucked in out of sight, in order to cram more advertising on a shirt is an act of borderline vandalism to one of the most iconic shirts in club rugby.
It’s a damn shame, because there are myriad ways they could have fitted all these elements on the shirt without defacing it like this, and hopefully this will be the only time we see something like this.