THE RFU have signed a four-year deal with Canterbury, who will supply kit for England’s senior team, Saxons, Sevens, Women’s and age-grade teams from September 2012 until after the World Cup in 2015, as the official kit partner to England Rugby.
England’s kit has been provided by Nike in recent years, who were the mastermind behind the controversial black kit unveiled just before last season’s World Cup in New Zealand, and although the brand were keen to continue their sponsorship a deal could not be reached. However, the RFU are delighted to have struck a deal with traditional rugby brand, and RFU Chief Commercial Officer Sophie Goldschmidt said: “The technical aspect that Canterbury put into their kit and the quality of it speaks for itself, and it’s important to have a technically advanced kit to give us an edge on the field.
“Canterbury is the leading rugby brand worldwide and has been making kit for years, and that tradition is important to the RFU. This is a very significant partnership and we’re very excited about this new relationship.”
Goldschmidt revealed that discussions with Nike had reached advanced stages, and added: “I would like to thank Nike who have invested a lot in us over many years. It’s a partnership that has ended amicably.”
Canterbury have dismissed concerns about England’s performance both on and off the field at the World Cup, and have already entered into discussions with Goldschmidt and her team at the RFU about the design of the new kit. Canterbury CEO Chris Stephenson said: “Having watched the Six Nations the team look re-energised and have presented themselves well, and we’re very excited about the future.
“We believe we create the strongest kit out there – the last time our kit ripped in an international game was in 1976 – and we produce a technically advanced kit. The QBE Internationals in November will be the first presentation of the new kit, although it will be in retail from September onwards.”
England have traditionally played in white, but Goldschmidt admitted today that the two parties were in discussions and any colour was possible for the new kit. What colour would you like to see England play in?