France launch Rugby World Cup jersey
June 30, 2011
French captain Thierry Dusautoir in the home shirt © Nike
France are hoping that two famous victories over the All Blacks will serve as inspiration for further success in New Zealand at this year's Rugby World Cup.
The headline-grabbing 43-31 victory over New Zealand at the 1999 World Cup and the equally seismic 20-18 quarter-final victory four years ago serve as the basis of a new shirt, designed by Nike, and unveiled by the French Rugby Federation (FFR) earlier today.
The jersey features two tones of blue - the top half being the same shade as the kit worn at Twickenham in 1999 and the bottom half a tribute to the shirt worn at the Millennium Stadium in 2007. Both the home and away kits, the away being an all-white strip, feature the motif 'France' on the inside of the shirts and a three colour trim. The shorts are 'midnight blue' while the socks are also two-toned in the same shades of blue as the jersey.
"The jerseys are engineered to improve athlete performance; with an innovative tight fit design to aid movement. The design inspiration aimed at celebrates French rugby heritage whilst being modern in style," the FFR said in a statement.
France face New Zealand on September 24 in Auckland but in all likelihood will have to wear their change shirt due to a clash with the All Blacks' black shirts. France kick-off their World Cup campaign against Japan in North Harbour on September 10 and prior to this date face Ireland in two warm-up matches home and away in mid-August.
France coach Lievremont will name his final 30-man squad for the World Cup on August 22.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action
The latest Week in Pictures takes in some original ways of welcoming teams to the field and plenty of tries from the European Champions Cup