World Rugby has announced the appointment of Gilbert as official ball supplier for its premier 15s tournaments, including the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups.
Tournaments supplied by Gilbert include the Women’s Rugby Wolrd Cup 2021, Rugby World Cup 2019 and 2023, World Rugby U20 Championship and Trophy, and World Rugby Pacific Challenge.
As part of the agreement, they will also supply balls for key development programmes, such as the Get Into Rugby mass participation programme.
Gilbert, who are also official suppliers to a number of national member unions, has been suppliers for Rugby World Cup since 1995.
Gilbert will be unveiling the official Rugby World Cup 2019 match ball design on 2nd November, the same day the ticketing programme is announced, with replica sales beginning from the end of this year.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “We are proud of our long-standing relationship with Gilbert that has game innovation and development at its core.
“Through a succession of MATCH-XV balls, technical advances have supported the world’s top men’s and women’s players at Rugby World Cups, while also recognising and addressing the needs of more durable balls for development programmes around the world.
“We look forward to working in partnership with Gilbert through our showcase 15s competitions to further global rugby growth in profile and participation.”
Richard Gray, sales and marketing director, Gilbert Rugby, said: “It is a tremendous honour for everyone at Gilbert to have been selected by World Rugby as their official ball supplier, not only for the next two Rugby World Cup tournaments but also the full range of World Rugby 15s events.
“We are particularly excited by the opportunity to support World Rugby by investing in the development of the sport in new rugby countries, as an integral part of the agreement. Coupled with our existing support of the World Rugby sevens programme, this new agreement cements the Gilbert ball at the heart of the game. We are looking forward to launching our new Rugby World Cup collection over the coming months in the run up to Japan 2019, culminating in the unveiling of our new match ball.”