Canterbury replaces Nike as England rugby kit provider

Sportswear manufacturer Canterbury has signed a four-year deal with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to become the official kit partner for the England team.

Canterbury: secures England rugby deal
Canterbury: secures England rugby deal

The deal, rumoured to be worth £20m, sees JD Sport-owned Canterbury replace previous shirt-maker Nike, and represents a coup for RFU chief commercial officer Sophie Goldschmidt in the wake of a disastrous 2011 for the England rugby team.

Canterbury will provide kits for the England senior team, the Saxons "B" team, the Sevens and Women’s teams, as well as all age grade representative teams from September. However, the design of the new shirt is yet to be unveiled.

The brand has previously made the kits for several international rugby union teams, including New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland. It current provides the shirts for South Africa and Scotland.

Goldschmidt said: "We are delighted about this new partnership with Canterbury. The brand is recognised by players and fans alike and its heritage in rugby is unrivalled. This new exciting partnership will allow the RFU to further invest in the game."

It adds to a successful start to 2012 for the RFU, which recently hired Ian Ritchie to the post of chief executive. Last month, the body extended its shirt-sponsorship deal with O2 for a further four years.

It also signed GlaxoSmithKline-owned brands Lucozade and Maxinutrition as official hydration and sports nutrition partners. The agreement, which extends to 2016, marks the first joint deal by the two brands since GSK acquired Maxinutrition in 2010.

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