26 May 21

Gilbert Rugby, the world’s leading rugby ball manufacturer, has announced a new licensing partnership with the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series.

The new agreement sees Gilbert become the Official Match Ball and Licensee of the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series, exclusively producing a range of balls in celebration of the Lions Series in South Africa and The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup, available for purchase through Gilbert’s unrivalled network of global distribution.


Gilbert, rugby’s original brand having been producing balls since the game started in 1823, have been a partner of SA Rugby for over 20 years, including the last two Lions Tours to South Africa in 2009 1997.

All Lions Series matches will use the renowned Sirius match ball, as used successfully throughout the Springboks famous Rugby World Cup 2019 triumph, with a limited number of official match balls also available for rugby collectors to purchase from

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 2022 in New Zealand and France 2023.

Richard Gray, CEO – Commercial, Gilbert Rugby stated: “We are delighted to continue our long and successful relationship with the Lions Tours in South Africa and SA Rugby. We are excited to launch a unique collection including the official Lions Series match balls and a selection of licensed supporter product which will be available for supporters to purchase for the first time ever.”

"Through hard work, dedication and being at the cutting edge of technology, Gilbert has earned its reputation as the global leader when it comes to rugby balls, and has been the preferred ball all over the world," said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

"Their products are created for performance, they are consistent and developed with leading edge technology and we are grateful to extend our partnership."

The official match balls and their replicas will be available to purchase from next month - Register your interest below

Castle Lager Series 2021 - Match Ball // Replica

The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup - Match Ball // Replica

british and irish lions rugby balls



Notes to Editors

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.


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