A cutting-edge new Springbok jersey, manufactured by new official technical kit sponsors ASICS which will be used for the first time in June, was revealed in Cape Town on Thursday.
Jurie Roux, CEO of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), said this new sponsorship ushered in an exciting new era for the Springboks and all other national teams as they aim to continuously raise the bar in performance.
“Ever since we’ve announced our sponsorship with ASICS last August, excitement has been building towards the big reveal of the new Springbok jersey,” said Roux.
“Apart from the technological advances we’ve seen in the manufacture of this new jersey, the designers at ASICS have done a superb job in ensuring the honour, heritage and tradition associated with the Springboks’ traditional green and gold have remained intact.”
According to Florence Ainsworth, Apparel Product Director for ASICS Europe Middle East and Africa, ASICS has introduced new technical advances to the jersey which should give the players an edge on the field.
“The new jerseys are made with ‘motion dry’ technology which allows the players to wear the item tight fitted whilst allowing for maximum natural freedom of movement and temperature management,” explained Ainsworth.
“The seams are reinforced to mitigate tear risk and the jerseys use ‘gripper’ technology in the chest area to enable players to get a better hold of the ball. It’s also inside the jerseys along the hem to prevent the shirt from moving while the players are running.”
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers added that he was looking forward to run out in the new jersey during the Castle Lager Incoming Series in June.
“As Springboks, running out in the green and gold is always extremely special as we know we carry the hopes and aspirations of our entire nation on our shoulders,” said De Villiers.
“The Springbok jersey is almost sacred to South Africans and I’m very excited about the prospect of running out in this new jersey later this year. Getting an edge over your opponents is important and I’m sure the new technological advances will assist us on the field.”
SARU’s contract with ASICS runs for six years and as part of this deal, ASICS made a commitment to manufacture at least 70% of its licensed supporter wear in South Africa.
“We came to South Africa with the long-term view that we would use the SARU deal as a foundation for setting up ASICS in South Africa,” said Max Keen, ASICS Brand and Sports Marketing Manager.
“We believe that it is to everyone’s advantage if we produce the SARU merchandise locally. Our long term aim is that we develop South Africa as an ASICS manufacturing center of excellence for all our product ranges.”
The Springbok team will run onto field in their new jerseys for the first time when they take on the Samsung-sponsored World XV on 7 June in Cape Town. In the meantime, supporters keen to get their hands on the new jerseys can visit http://www.sarugbyshop.co.za/.