Multi million Euro deal unites the two brands until 2020       -

Dublin, Monday January 27th; Leading sports clothing brand Canterbury of New Zealand has been announced as the new kit supplier to the Irish Rugby Football Union. Irish fans will see the Ireland team line up in the new Canterbury kit for the first time at the Aviva Stadium on November 8th when they take on South Africa. The new multi-million euro deal announced today unites the two brands for six years until 2020, including two World Cup tournaments.

Since its establishment in 1904 Canterbury has expanded to become the world’s largest rugby apparel brand and is the official kit of six rugby nations including England, Russia, Spain, Japan, USA and now Ireland. Bringing over a century of experience to the table, Canterbury will team up with the IRFU for the second time since their inaugural partnership which ran from 2000 until 2009.

Canterbury will work closely with the IRFU management and international players to produce match day, training and bench wear for the national squad as well as all junior and underage teams including the O2 Irish Wolfhounds, Under 20’s and Women’s national side. Official Canterbury IRFU merchandise will be sold through all major sports retailers and online from autumn 2014.

Chris Stephenson, Canterbury CEO, added:

“In the IRFU we have found a partner with shared values, a shared heritage and a shared focus and ambition to succeed at the pinnacle of our disciplines. These mutual traits were paramount in our decision to join forces and share in what we believe will be a truly exciting journey for Irish Rugby, most particularly the supporters, and Canterbury through the next two Rugby World Cups.”

Commenting Joe Schmidt, Irish Head Coach, said:

“I’m delighted to have Canterbury partnering with Ireland in our upcoming World Cup cycle. I’ve worked with Canterbury in the past and have always been impressed by the quality and innovation they bring to the table. “

Commenting Pat Fitzgerald, President IRFU, said:

“I’d like to welcome Canterbury into the Irish Rugby family as we journey towards the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Having the backing of the world’s top rugby apparel brand is testament to the strength of the Irish Rugby brand and reflects positively on the progressive steps being taken to ensure that we cement our position at the top of world rugby.”

About Canterbury

Canterbury has more than 100 years of history in rugby and has previously provided playing shirts to the New Zealand All Blacks and Australia. It is currently team kit supplier to England Rugby as well as reigning Aviva Premiership champions Leicester Tigers, three times Heineken Cup winners Leinster and Cardiff Blues.  Canterbury has been a keen supporter of grassroots and development level rugby for many years and currently supplies playing apparel to hundreds of school and club sides through the UK.

The company’s global HQ is based in Stockport, England.