Monday, 19 November 2007

Very Stade Francais. Very Sanderson.


Those of a more traditional cast of mind might be forgiven for assuming that, rugby being a manly kind of sport, rugby players themselves are fairly bluff no-nonsense types. I think it can stated fairly unequivocally that this is not true of Stade Francais, however.

Stade Francais, for the unitiated, are one of the two leading French rugby clubs (the other is Tolouse). Being based in Paris, there are also by some measure the chicest.

For several years, they have been raising eyebrows not just for their annual calendar, Dieux du Stade, which features various players pooving it up in the nude – all very gay iconish, etc – but for their shocking pink shirts with blue lightening bolts on them.

But yesterday, for the first time this season, I saw their new shirts, or at least their new away shirts.

To call them startling is to understate the case. What you have, as shown above, is a kind of combined Hawaiian shirt and Carnaby Street tie c.1967 with more than just a hint of vicarage chintz curtain whanged in for good measure, the whole on a seriously weird sludge background. And it's skin tight.

However, I am not sure they will be in too much of a hurry to wear them again. They were playing Bristol yesterday, in Bristol, in the Heineken Cup, and were royally turned over 17-0, the first time they have failed to score even a single point in a Heineken Cup match.

It was also pissing with rain and blowing a near gale. Not exactly the weather for a fashion statement.

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