With two years to go until the Rugby World Cup 2015 brings eight games to Cardiff, Gilbert Rugby has launched the design of the official match ball that will play its part in every pass, kick and try at the home of Welsh sport.
With the 2011 design proving a hit for fans and retailers around the world, the striking and innovative England 2015 ball artwork has been designed with performance and players in mind, while taking inspiration from the Modern Classic tournament look and feel that will be synonymous with the world's third-largest sports event.
Player consultation has been central to the design details that will enhance the showcasing of skills. Special emphasis has been given to ensuring that contrasting colours appear on the ends of the ball to enhance visibility for passing. Bold colours along the seams provide kickers with strong visual references. The result is a unique and special ball with strong visual impact.
The design also features the official tournament social media hashtag #RWC2015, highlighting the importance of social media for event owners and associated brands.
Rugby World Cup 2015 replica balls will be available from September 23 through the official Rugby World Cup 2015 online shop at www.rwcshop.com and in store via official outlets around the world.
Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Gilbert is a brand that is synonymous with Rugby World Cup, having supplied balls for all tournaments since 1995. We are delighted to be launching an official Rugby World Cup 2015 match ball design that does not just look great, but will assist and enhance player performance through Gilbert's expertise and unparalleled attention to detail."
A world leader in match ball innovation and development in international Rugby for more than a century, the UK-based firm will supply the match, training and replica balls for Rugby's global showcase event. Attention now turns to the technical development of the Rugby World Cup 2015 official match ball.
Wales will play two pool matches at the Millennium Stadium which is the only venue outside England scheduled to host the Rugby World Cup 2015 tournament.
The complete schedule for the Millennium Stadium is:
19 Sept 15 Ireland v Canada
20 Sep 15 Wales v Play-Off Winner
23 Sep 15 Australia v Oceania 1
1 Oct 15 Wales v Oceania 1
2 Oct 15 NZ v Europe 1
11 Oct 15 France v Ireland
17 Oct 15 Quarter final
18 Oct 15 Quarter final
JOIN THE FRONT ROW
For all the latest Rugby World Cup 2015 news and information, including details on tickets and volunteering, join The Front Row - and receive the official tournament newsletter.
Sign up at www.rugbyworldcup.com/frontrow
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.