Sportswear giant Nike has been shown a red card by the England Rugby Union who has replaced the global brand with sports label Canterbury as suppliers of the official England rugby kit. The deal means Canterbury will supply the English shirt until after the end of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which is being held in England.
Canterbury’s new look home and change kits were unveiled by The Rugby Football Union at Drybrook RFC recently, in anticipation of the England Men and Women’s games in both XVs and Sevens international programmes this season.
The new England rugby shirt demonstrates a ‘back-to-basics’ feel with an all-white design, complete with the iconic red rose emblem applied to the chest. The kit also features midnight blue socks, which were last seen in England’s summer tour of 2007. The new England away shirts, meanwhile, are in regal purple with gold detailing.
The shirt represents the dreams not just of those who wear it but the millions who support England. The inside of the sleeve of the Seniors, Women’s and Sevens shirts features the slogan ENGLANDCONNECTED, a call that unites the different branches of the England rugby family.
Made by Canterbury of New Zealand, the new home shirt combines the traditional styling that has been the mark of English rugby since 1871, together with the technical construction that Canterbury is known for to withstand the very toughest of tackles.
The England home kit is available to buy now ahead of the men’s team’s daunting autumn programme that includes tests against Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. England will wear their new kit for the first time on November 10 when Fiji travel to Twickenham for the opening autumn Test. The first competitive outing of the strip will be the Six Nations held in February and March 2013.
The kit will be available in the ‘Test’ edition, built to the exact specifications of Elite squad players, the ever-popular ‘Pro’ replica jerseys and the ‘Classic’ design, for those who prefer the simplicity of a traditional, collared rugby shirt.
There is also a jersey fitted specifically for women, meaning that all fans have a choice of shirt to cheer the team on in style.
The new contract makes Canterbury – which originated in New Zealand 100 years ago but is now owned by sportswear retailer Pentland Brands – the largest supplier of rugby kits to national teams. It also supplies Scotland, South Africa, USA and Japan.
Other than producing rugby kits, the brand is also known for their rugby protective wear such as headgear and pads, and rugby boots. The company also manufactures and markets lifestyle clothing.
To mark the unveiling of the new kit, and its partnership with the RFU, Canterbury has also launched its ‘England Is All’ campaign, which celebrates the unity of England players, coaches, volunteers, the rugby family and fans. The campaign features a series of iconic images by world-renowned English photographer David Bailey.