Wales will run-out against Georgia in their 2017-2019 ‘away’ kit for the first time on Saturday 18th November.
Designed by global sports performance innovation brand Under Armour, the new jersey also features a new sponsor – with Subaru taking pride of place on the jersey front.
The Welsh Rugby Union announced a new four year partnership, which will see ‘pick-up professionals’ Isuzu feature on the red home jersey until 2021, last summer, but plans to switch branding for the away kit have been kept under wraps until now.
The switch to Subaru is possible because the WRU’s ground-breaking partnership is with the automotive importer IM Group and so incorporates both the Isuzu and Subaru brands.
In contrast to the bold red of the home kit, the new away kit is a deep anthracite colour, with subtle red touches on the jersey sleeves, shorts and socks. The dark colour provides the perfect platform for Subaru’s striking blue, starred logo to stand-out like no brand before it on the front of Wale’s iconic national jersey.
The change strip will be worn for the next two seasons by Wales senior men’s and women’s teams as part of the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in the WRU’s history, but it makes its debut appearance against Georgia at Principality Stadium this Saturday.
“We took a new and innovative approach to our latest shirt sponsorship negotiations and looked at ways to maximise value for our partners and increase exposure for our teams on a global scale,” said WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips.
“Switching between Isuzu and Subaru for our home and change kit is an exciting twist on the traditional way of doing things and we expect both jerseys to be extremely popular with supporters around the world.
“To associate with two hugely significant Japanese brands in this way as we build towards the Rugby World Cup in 2019 in Japan is a major coup for Welsh rugby and will pay dividends as it further improves the global appeal of our national game.
“Welsh supporters will agree that the kit looks particularly striking and we are all looking forward to seeing it in action against Georgia this weekend.”
Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director of Isuzu and Subaru in the UK said,
“Through our Isuzu brand we have an excellent relationship with the WRU. The pick-up brand will always be the lead focus for this project, but when the WRU came to us with a proposal that allowed us to include Subaru, we immediately agreed.
“Subaru has a strong customer base in Wales, where its no-nonsense fitness for purpose and exceptional off road capabilities really chime with the rural communities, and we look forward to seeing our customers at Principality Stadium.”
Like the home jersey the design of the away kit is inspired by the Welsh national anthem ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ (Land of my Fathers), with Under Armour’s new design intrinsically linked to the Welsh landscape, using the topography of unique areas around the country mapped out on the shoulders with subtle markings.
Contour lines taken from maps, including Neath – the birthplace of the WRU in 1881 – Lampeter, Bangor and Cardiff feature on the jersey’s shoulders with subtle markings showing these unique areas of the country.
Lampeter is widely believed to be the first town in Wales to have fielded a rugby team in the 1870s, Cardiff has pride of place on the kit as home of Principality Stadium and Bangor is a proud rugby city and founding club representing the North.
Whilst the design is influenced by the rich history of Welsh rugby, the jersey remains at the forefront of sports apparel design with Under Armour’s latest innovative technology crafted into every aspect of the kit.
The new away kit will be available for pre-order now via www.wru.wales and can be purchased in stores from Friday 17th November.
It retails at £90 for the authentic jersey, which carries the exact specifications of the playing kit and will be in place until the Rugby World Cup 2019. Replica jerseys are priced at £65 for both men’s and women’s fit and £50 for youths
Technical performance features of the kit include;
ArmourGrid™: A unique material that is virtually impossible to grab and hold will enable the players to slip tackles and break contact
Function panels on the shirt in compression fabric and mesh allow the grid sections to function as individual panels, maintaining a freedom of movement without sacrificing on weight, durability and breathability
Ventilated underarm panel with four-way stretch offers maximum breathability and player mobility
An internal waistband grip in the shorts prevents the shirt from untucking during movement
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