New - all-red - Wales rugby union kit unveiled
THAT’s one Christmas present sorted - as Wales rugby internationals unveil new kit - and, appropriately, it’s all in red.
The new kit is said to be the most hi-tech ever.
It features a grippy area on the shirt to make sure the ball stays in one place and plenty of new ventilation technology to stop players getting hot under the collar.
But the most striking difference is the switch from white to red shorts which is sure to provoke a debate amongst fans
Sam Warburton, Alun Wyn Jones, Leigh Halfpenny and a host of other Wales stars were joined by hundreds of loyal fans on the Millennium Stadium pitch last night to reveal the new kit which will be worn by the reigning, double RBS Six Nations Champions for the next two seasons.
British and Irish Lions tour winning captains Warburton and Jones, man-of-the-series Halfpenny, and fellow Lions heroes from the historic win in Australia this summer, Alex Cuthbert, Ian Evans and Toby Faletau, became the first players to wear the new kit for the photocall.
Decked from head to toe in the red of Wales, a flag-bearing Halfpenny led the march from the Millennium Stadium's North stand to its South, to a chorus of 'Bread of Heaven'.
"It was a fantastic occasion for us to get back on the field at the home of Welsh rugby with hundreds of our supporters," said fan's favourite, Halfpenny.
"When we walk out for the first game against South Africa at the Millennium Stadium next month, we know that the nation will be behind us.
"The new kit looks and feels great, we are used to the performance qualities that the Under Armour gear provides and with the technology which has once again gone into producing it, we feel confident that we have all the support we need to prepare for the upcoming Autumn matches."
Under Armour has been the global partner and technical sponsor of the Welsh Rugby Union since September 2008.
"When we canvassed the players for their opinions on how to advance the kit, the feedback was 'Under Armour have got it right'", said WRU head of sales and marketing, Craig Maxwell.
"So there have been enhancements, the material has improved in strength, lightness and construction and there are one or two more touches like improved air venting and an exciting new all red look for the players, but we haven't tried to fix what wasn't broken.
"We think fans will agree that Under Armour have supplied a striking jersey of immense quality and, you only have to look at our international record since Under Armour came on board in 2008, to know that the technological advancements in this kit certainly suit the players."
The kit features black detailing on the shoulders and down its flanks - where it fades through a deep red colour into white - and also carries a reference to a Dragon's tail towards the bicep area, paying homage to the WRU's new digital mascot Scorch, set off by the familiar logo of jersey sponsor Admiral across the chest.
The kit features include:
ArmourGrid Fabric: Creates a lightweight shirt and shorts with 'no grab' technology.
Armour Grip Technology: A strategically placed grippy area on the body of the shirt aids in catching and securing the ball. Featuring a unique dragon scale print, designed specifically for WRU
Function Panels: Panels on the shirt in compression fabric and mesh allow the grid sections to function as individual plates, maintaining a freedom of movement without sacrificing on weight, durability and breathability.
Stretch Mesh Underarm: Ventilated underarm panel with four-way stretch offers maximum breathability and player mobility.
Shorts Stretch-Gusset: The gusset provides four-way stretch in a critical flex zone.
Shorts Grippy Waistband: An internal waistband grip prevents the shirt from untucking during play.
Matt Shearer, General Manager EMEA, Under Armour, said: "Given our heritage and foundation around telling a performance story, we're confident that this is the most technically advanced kit that the Welsh National Team has ever had and we hope that with our ongoing support, the reigning Six Nations Champions will continue to establish their position as one of the world's elite teams."