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.
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