There’s no doubt that when it comes to on-jersey advertisements, the Top 14 is leading the way in the rugby world, but the French league also sports some of the most stylish and interesting shirts in rugby.
With the return of big clubs like Bayonne and Brive to the Top 14 this season, this season is no different – let’s take a look at what the teams will be wearing as the league kicks back off again for another marathon season.
After last season’s weird circle-graphic jerseys, Agen returned to something much more traditional for their home and away shirts for 2019/20, with the blue and white hoops at the fore.
The third/cup jersey is a red and white affair with a detailed pattern on the bottom – there’s no getting away from the fact that Agen have the worst and most intrusive sponsor in the Top 14.
After four years in the second tier, Bayonne have finally managed to get back into the big time for 2019/20, and so it’s quite fitting that kit-wise you’d think they never left.
The home shirt is a slightly modern take on on Bayonne’s classic blue and white home shirt, while the away is a more modern dark blue affair.
UNION BORDEAUX BEGLES
Yet another example of Canterbury’s 2019/20 template, the jerseys this year are very clean and plain, but a tad on the boring side.
Brive are another team getting back into the big leagues in 2019/20, and it also means the return of Adidas back to the Top 14.
The Brive home shirt this season is a classic white with thin black bands and a black collar – as you can expect, there’s plenty more sponsors on the player’s version!
It feels like a long time since Castres were wearing some of the most downright beautiful jerseys in world rugby, and their switch to Kappa hasn’t been as much of a hit as many hoped.
This season’s trio of jerseys are broadly inoffensive, but a tad underwhelming – the grey third shirt is cool though.
Clermont have broken from their trend of almost sarcastically plain jerseys for shirts with a nice blue and yellow checkerboard pattern on the shoulders in 2019/20.
No matter what supplier they’re using, La Rochelle just don’t seem to do bad jerseys, and it’s no exception this time around either.
The home and third shirts sport an interesting ‘wave’ pattern to the sleeves and classy single stripe across the front, while the away has a thick gold band and sublimated chevron pattern.
Lyon have leaned more towards the ‘black’ side of their red-and-black colour scheme over the last few season, but there’s a much more classic vibe for the new season.
A black and red hooped design with a very cool double-hoop, it’s definitely one of he nicest and most crowd-pleasing jerseys in the Top 14.
A big change for Montpellier this season as they ditch the classic dark blue of the home shirt in favour of their much more polarising electric blue alternate shade.
It’s not exactly classic with the alternate shirts either – the white away shirt is simple enough, but the blue and orange cup jersey is a first.
Pau always seem to have some of the nicest and most distinctive jerseys in the Top 14, and for 2019/20 there’s more of the same.
A lovely white home shirt with detailed white stripe graphic, and a green away shirt with isometric mountain pattern are typically unique and unusual.
Bit of a ‘why did they bother’ effort for Racing this season, as the jersey is identical to last year with some very, very minor tweaks.
So the tricolore collar is now just white, while the red and blue stripes on the side have been replaced with a tricolore striped side vent. It’s still lovely, though a second season of the ‘badge down the bottom to fit in more sponsors’ thing still rankles.
Stade have returned to Kappa for the first time in two decades this season, and unsurprisingly the Italian brand has broken out some classic Stade looks for their first jerseys.
So just like in the late 90s, it’s big, bold lightning bolts on blue and pink jerseys, which is absolutely fine with us.
After a couple of seasons wearing black at home for no real reason, Toulon are back with a totally red home shirt for 2019/20.
The shirt has a regrettable ‘armour’ pattern on the front, while the grey/black third and white away both sport prominent lily motifs on the body.
The reigning Top 14 champions are wearing a striking pair of Nike jerseys for the defence of their crown.