The extension will see Gilbert provide their product exclusively to all levels of the game including all competitions run by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), including dedicated provision for the England Women’s team and Allianz Premier 15s.
Gilbert remains one of England Rugby’s longest serving suppliers, with Gilbert balls known to have featured in games dating back to the 1920s. With Grays acquiring Gilbert in 2002, the partnership will celebrate 20 years of collaboration during the extended contract.
As well as continuing to supply all of the RFU’s referee kits, Gilbert is expanding the relationship to also include the supply of training equipment and head guards at elite level.
Dating back to 1823, Gilbert has a unique heritage in rugby with William Gilbert supplying some of the very first rugby balls to Rugby School when William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball and ran with it. Now, Gilbert’s Sirius match ball remains the preferred choice of most of the world’s leading nations and Gilbert has been the official ball at the Rugby World Cup for the last seven consecutive tournaments. The Gilbert ball will be used exclusively at the Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand and France 2023.
Richard Gray, CEO – Commercial, Gilbert Rugby stated: “We are delighted to renew our long and successful relationship and extend our investment to support all levels of the game in England incorporating two exciting new categories. We are particularly pleased to be able to announce this partnership as England Rugby re-starts with its first match against the Barbarians.
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