Wales coach Warren Gatland and captain Ryan Jones today unveiled the debut kit from the WRU's new official supplier, Under Armour.
The nation's new look for the coming season features 'dragon scale grippy' technology and highlights key national symbols such as the Welsh flag. The brand's first international level rugby kit is engineered with lighter and more breathable fabrics to improve comfort and range of movement to help enhance on-field performance.
Inspired by the history and culture of the land, the American based performance apparel brand created a range of kit rooted in Welsh tradition. 'Welsh red' is the predominant colour for the tight-fitting Home jersey, and the Welsh flag is stitched onto the jersey underneath the Welsh word 'Calon' - meaning heart - on the inside back-neck of the collar. Additional details include 'dragon scale grippy' technology for enhanced ball-handling ability, triple seaming construction for maximum durability, "chamois" textile inserts on shorts for improved handling in wet conditions, and position-specific fit for the players.
The new kit has undergone rigorous wear testing at national team training sessions and Gatland's squad has played a pivotal role in fine-tuning the gear to ensure it meets their needs.
Under Armour President, Europe, Peter Mahrer said: "Unveiling our first international level team kit is truly a historic day for Under Armour. It was important to us to respect the cherished heritage of Welsh rugby in these new designs while also ensuring we sacrificed nothing to deliver the best-performing, most technical state-of-the-art kit."
"The Welsh national team jersey holds a unique place in the mindset of players and fans alike throughout the country and it is particularly pleasing to us that Under Armour have produced a garment which is entirely sympathetic to that fact," said Gatland.
"Under Armour took on a challenge to produce the Welsh kit, but the result has exceeded everyone's expectations both in design and functionality," notes Gatland. "This kit is lighter and more durable than anything we've worn before."
Wales' clash against South Africa, in the Invesco Perpetual Series, will mark the on-field debut of the new Under Armour kit. The tournament pits Wales against South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia on consecutive weekends in November.
The WRU Group head of marketing, Gwyn Dolphin, commented on the wide-ranging partnership with Under Armour, noting that: "The agreement with Under Armour is the first to include all WRU national teams from age grade to women's rugby and will also encompass WRU referees as well as WRU and Millennium Stadium staff."
Dolphin added: "Under Armour has a magnificent reputation and pedigree in producing performance wear for the global market, and we are delighted to be the first rugby nation in the world to benefit from that expertise - at all levels of play."
The new Wales jersey will be available from all major sports clothing outlets commencing tomorrow, 17th October, and is also sold online at www.wru.co.uk.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.