Golden Grand Slam balls for Wales by Gilbert
Date posted: 01/10/2012
The Welsh Rugby Union has signed a major new six year sponsorship deal with Gilbert which, for this season, which means International rugby balls will carry gold markings to symbolise the fact that Wales are the current RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam Champions. The deal will provide a significant number of balls to all of the WRU’s national teams and member clubs, with a specific design scheme to reflect the specific needs of each competition and group of players.
Gilbert take over from Webb Ellis and will provide the international match balls, predominantly red and white with gold markings, which Wales will not only use to defend their Championship title in 2012, but also to take on the might of Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia at the Millennium Stadium this autumn. All WRU member clubs will receive an allocation of balls per season, depending on the number of sides they runcovering the whole club. This arrangement is designed to further enhance the WRU’s policy of rewarding clubs who make efforts to increase participation in the sport, and to incentivise clubs to continue growing their player pools.
“Everybody at Gilbert is delighted to be starting a new relationship with the WRU and to working at every level to grow the sport in Wales. We are especially proud that the Gilbert ball has been chosen by Wales following on from their fantastic season and exciting Rugby World Cup campaign,” said Richard Gray, Gilbert Sales and Marketing Director.
Leigh Halfpenny said: “There are so many different balls out there it is important that the ones we are playing with are of real quality. We’ve played with them in the past and use them already quite a lot in the Six Nations. They are a quality ball and I’m really pleased that Wales are going to be using them. From a kicking perspective, Gilbert balls stay on line and travel very well and you can get a lot of distance from them as well which is pleasing. “England, Ireland, France and Scotland use them already so we now have real consistency across the Six Nations. It’s also great that they are also going to be distributed through the age grades down to grass roots to support the continued production of young Welsh talent. I know they will be getting them down at my old club Gorseinon and I’m very much looking forward to going down there to see them in use.”
WRU Head of Sales and Marketing Craig Maxwell said: “This new association with Gilbert is a significant announcement for the WRU and is our most comprehensive ball deal to date. Every Club will be provided for each year for as well as all of our National Teams and Development staff for the benefit of schools and junior teams. “Not only do we get the top class quality associated with Gilbert balls, but we are thrilled with the detail we have been able to include in the contract to support on policy which rewards clubs who are making efforts to develop our game through club and player development.”