James Mortimer 11.Jul.2012Adidas Rugby
The new design comes as part of the French Rugby Federations new sponsorship arrangement with Adidas, the global sporting giant that also designs the All Blacks jersey.
Adidas launched the latest hybrid of the All Blacks jersey last year before the 2011 Rugby World Cup, featuring a white collar in homage to past New Zealand sides that had a similar collar, notably the 1987 World Cup winning side.
Previously Nike was the sponsor of the French jersey, and a new design was unveiled in 2007 which clashed with the All Blacks, and as a consequence the quarter-final in Cardiff at that season’s World Cup – a home match for Les Bleus – forced New Zealand into a strip change.
The All Blacks wore grey for that fateful quarter-final match, but the favour was ‘returned’, when the visiting French had to wear their away white jersey during the final at Eden Park late October last year.
The new French strip, as well as having a far lighter shade of blue, also features red, white and blue stripes as well as the Adidas logo.
Part of the advertising campaign has seen French rugby state “All Bleus”, not only in reference to the team’s moniker, but also to the widespread Adidas catchline ‘All In’.
However some passionate All Blacks supporters, pointing out the above line as well as the new white collar on the French jersey, that it is similar to the garb of the World Champions.