June 30, 2022

Rugby. The All Blacks will play white against the XV of France, here’s why

As here in 2016, Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick will wear a white jersey against the XV of France this November 20 at the Stade de France. (©Icon Sport)

This week, we told you the story of the All Blacks jersey, and in particular the reason that led New Zealand to opt for the color black. A tunic that will ultimately not be worn this Saturday, November 20 at the Stade de France against the XV of France (21h).

Indeed, the All Blacks will evolve with a white jersey for the occasion. The New Zealand Rugby Federation has confirmed this, as has the captain. Sam Whitelock Friday, the day before the match. “We’re going to be in white. We don’t often have the opportunity, so it will be a special moment for us ”.

Avoid the clash of colors

A choice made to avoid a “clash of colors”, justified Joe Lock, the communications officer of the All Blacks, to the Team. The XV of France, he will keep his usual blue jersey for his last match of the autumn tour.

Blues against “Whites”, this will facilitate the work of the refereeing body, especially in combat zones. And for spectators, as well as players, it will be much more comfortable.

A poppy on the sleeve

The All Blacks jersey will have another specificity, as every time the New Zealanders play in Paris: it will be adorned with a red poppy on one of the sleeves. A symbol in tribute to the blood spilled in Europe by the many New Zealand soldiers killed in WWI (including 13 All Blacks). “We understand history, and it’s something we don’t take lightly,” said Sam Whitelock, who will be playing his 132e selection.

Dave Gallaher, captain of the All Blacks and present in 1906 during the very first match between France and New Zealand, had notably perished in a fight in 1917. The Dave Gallaher trophy has been awarded every year, since 2000, to the winner of the opposition between the XV of France and the All Blacks.

The All Blacks have already played white against France

Not wearing their black jersey against the XV of France, it does not happen that often to the All Blacks. We all remember the gray in the quarter-final lost to the Blues in 2007.

White has already been seen in 2013, but also in 2016 and 2017. Each time, the New Zealanders won, respectively 19-26, 19-24 and 18-38. Note that in 2016 and 2017, the Blacks jersey was “mixed”, with the torso and shoulders in black. This Saturday, it will be almost all white.

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