England Rugby has extended its partnership with Gilbert Rugby as the Official Ball Supplier. 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.
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 and the Gilbert ball will be used exclusively at 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."
Simon Massie-Taylor, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer, England Rugby added: “Without a ball, there’s no rugby and that’s why it’s so important to ensure we source the very best product available to give our teams the best chance of winning. The Gilbert ball is widely regarded as the best and that’s why we look forward to continuing to collaborate with them in this next chapter of our long-spanning partnership.”
Notes to Editors
About The Rugby Football Union / England Rugby
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the National Governing Body for rugby union in England and supports participants and fans from the grassroots to the national team.
For more information visit www.englandrugby.com
Keep up to date with all RFU news on @EnglandRugby
About Gilbert Rugby
Gilbert Rugby is the world’s longest serving rugby brand having served the rugby world since 1823 and remains a UK family run business at the heart of the game today; trusted by the Global rugby family to provide the best innovative products & support to enable players to perform to their full potential.
For more information visit www.gilbertrugby.com