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.
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker