The new Wales kit for the next two seasons of international rugby was revealed for the first time today by global sports performance and innovation brand Under Armour.
Inspired by the Welsh national anthem ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ (Land of my Fathers), Under Armour’s new design is intrinsically linked to the Welsh landscape, using the topography of unique areas around the country mapped out on the shoulders with subtle stitching.
No two shirts will be the same as these contour lines, taken from maps, including Neath – the birthplace of the WRU in 1881 – Lampeter, Bangor and Cardiff are detailed in a unique way which is bespoke to each new piece of clothing.
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.
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 presence of ArmourGrid™ supports ball retention in play, whilst Under Armour’s HeatGear® technology is incorporated to ensure maximum comfort for the players and help keep the body temperature stable throughout the match.
With the return of a classic-red top and socks against contrasting white shorts, the jersey that brings a proud nation together is set to be worn for the first time when Wales take on Australia at Principality Stadium in the Under Armour Series next month.
The jersey also features a new partner for the time since 2010, with Isuzu placed across both men’s and women’s home jerseys.
The new kit will be available in shops from 24th October and can be pre-ordered now at www.wru.wales
Under Armour athlete, Wales and Scarlets full-back Leigh Halfpenny says the new kit is a perfect fit: “The red jersey means so much to everyone in Wales. As a team and as a nation it brings us together and there is no greater feeling or honour than to have the opportunity to wear it and play for your country.
“The fit and feel of this new Under Armour jersey is ideal and I know the team will be looking forward to wearing it on the field for the first time when we face Australia in the Under Armour Series next month.”
“Under Armour has once again produced a great looking kit, which Wales will wear with pride,” said WRU Group Chief Executive Martyn Phillips.
“The return to a classic red Welsh jersey, put with a traditional white shorts and red socks, will be welcomed by Wales supporters around the country and beyond.
Add to that the unique topography design on the shoulders, which maps out the unique landscape of the country and we have an innovative design that is really is woven with Wales”.
Chris Bate, Managing Director and Vice President, Under Armour Europe commented: “The incredible passion that drives Welsh rugby is acknowledged all-around the world, we’ve designed this new jersey to celebrate where the very origins of that passion come from whilst implementing the latest performance technology to support the squad’s efforts against some of the world’s strongest rugby sides.”
Technical performance features of the kit include:
* ArmourGrid™: a strategically placed grippy area on the torso of the shirt aids in catching and securing the ball
* 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
Kit pricing information:
The new Wales kit 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.
However, reduced prices will be available directly from the WRU outlets in a unique early bird offer designed to dress as many supporters as possible in red for the 2017 Under Armour Series – the authentic jersey will be priced at £84.99 and replica jerseys will be £54.99 and £44.99 (youth) up until kick-off against Australia on November 11.