An Introduction to France Rugby Shirt Polo
Produced by Ellis Rugby, Retro France Rugby Shirt Polo is an extremely high quality garment. Our Retro France Rugby Shirt Polo is inspired by the many great France Rugby Union teams of the past. Here is the story of the France Rugby Union team’s first ever Grand Slam in 1968.
The 1968 Five Nations Championship included a total of ten matches played between 13 January and 23 March. France had come close on a few occasions to record a Grand Slam, but they had always narrowly missed the opportunities to go through the competition unbeaten.
They had developed a strong squad of players Captained by the RC Toulonnais Flank Forward, Christian Carrère. The Coach of the team was the legendary France Captain and Flanker Jean Prat. Who played for FC Lourdes, from 1944/45 to 1958/59. He won 6 titles of the French Championship and two Coupe de France, in 1950 and 1951. In addition a further three titles of the Challenge Yves du Manoir. Carrère and Prat seemed the perfect Captain Coach combination for France.
At Fly Half was the stylish La Voulte Sportif player Guy Camberabero an extremely good tactical and place kicker. In addition, at Scrum Half was his twin brother Lilian Camberabero. The French backs had some exceptionally talented players, including the Toulouse Full Back Pierre Villepreux. Also, they had Centre Jo Maso who enjoyed a career with Narbonne, Toulonnais and Perpignan. Alongside Carrère in the Back Row was the powerfully built Walter Spangero who made his mark on the international game in this tournament which led him to gain 50 caps for his country.
So, on the 13th January 1968, France visited Scotland for their first Five Nations game at the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. In front of 45,000 spectators France managed a win under difficult circumstance by 8 points to 6. France scored two tries through the Wingers, first in was Aviron Bayonnais player Bernard Dupratto scored after 5 minutes. Then André Campaes who played for FC Lourdes, also scored in the other corner. Critically Fly Half Guy Camberabero kicked a conversion to win the game.
Two weeks later France entertained the visiting Ireland Rugby Union team at Stade Colombes in Paris. A confident French team comfortably defeated their Irish opposition. They began with a try from André Campaes after 22 minutes with Pierre Villepreux slotting over the conversion. However Ireland briefly came back in to the game through two William ‘Billy’ McCombe penalty goals. Following this though it was all France. On 35 minutes Jean Gachassin dropped a goal, Villepreux added a penalty goal. And Benoît Dauga scored a try on 74 minutes and Villepreux once again added the conversion.
There were almost four weeks until France’s next game and it was their most feared opponents – England. The game was staged again in Paris at the Stade Colombes and the French crowd were delighted with the teams’ performance and welcome victory. Powerful running Centre Jean Gachassin scored the only try of the game, but France were dominant. Their kicking was superior to England’s. Guy Camberabero added a conversion and a penalty goal. And there were two drop goals from Claude Lacaze and Lilian Camberabero. In response, England could only manage two penalties from Bob Hiller the Harlequin F.C. Full Back and a drop goal from Mike Weston. The final score was France 14 points England 9 points.
Wales at the Arms Park
Furthermore, the final game was a daunting trip to Wales who included some legendary players in their team. These included John Dawes in the Centre who went on to Captain the British & Irish Lions in 1971. Alongside him were two of Wales’s best half-back pairing in Gareth Edwards at Scrum Half and Barry John at Fly Half.
With all the pressure on France, they played superbly. Tries from Captain Christian Carrère and Lilian Camberabero. A conversion, a drop goal and a penalty goal all from the boot of Guy Camberabero. Wales could only respond with a try by Jones and two penalties from Doug Rees. The final score was Wales 9 points, France 14. So, France had finally gone through the Five Nations Championship unbeaten. The first time in their history they had won the Grand Slam.
Manufactured from 100% chunky pique cotton, Ellis Rugby Retro France Rugby Shirt features detailed embroidery on the vintage French Coq, contrast inner placket, arms and collar stand. Also included in this garment is herringbone detail on the vents and velvet tape on the neck opening. In addition subtle Ellis Rugby branding features on the collar stand and tone on tone logo on the arm.
The available sizes are S – 4XL.
As well as this Retro France Rugby Shirt Polo, we also offer a Vintage France Rugby Shirt and T-Shirt.