Connacht Rugby entertained Galwegians on the streets of the city yesterday to launch their new playing kit for the 2012/13 season.
As Connacht head into their second Heineken Cup season, players took to Shop Street to show off both their new gear and their skills while supporters were treated to the chance to meet the team.
In a new direction for Connacht Rugby, the launch featured two sets of forwards in both their new home and away kits going head to head in a series of lineout challenges. The gear, designed by Rugbytech, features more black than previous years alongside the traditional club green. The home jersey also includes a Celtic motif - a design which is carried over to the black shorts featuring a green Celtic knot. Black socks with a green band complete the home kit.
Meanwhile the away kit enjoys a complete makeover with the blue and white colours of the Connacht crest providing the inspiration. The jersey also features green and is finished with a white trim, while blue shorts with a green knot and white socks complete the new design.
Alex Saul, head of marketing at Connacht Rugby, says Connacht has an unparalleled place in Irish history and they are keen to reflect this in their new jerseys.
"The home kit is a different blend of our traditional green and black, with vivid Celtic symbolism. We feel supporters will particularly enjoy the distinctive away kit as white and blue are the predominant colours of our crest. Connacht Rugby supporters have always worn their teams colours with pride and passion, and this seasons kit represents those core values”
“These are exciting times for Connacht Rugby with the province undergoing a great degree of change, but we are very conscious of the fact that we remain true to our heritage."
RugbyTech's sports marketing director Loman Caulfield says the company had worked closely with Connacht Rugby to uncover more of the values and traditions that represent the province.
"We firmly believe that supporters will be more than pleased with what we have produced. This launch marks a new direction in Connacht Rugby merchandise. We have greatly increased the availability of the new strips so that Connacht supporters both inside and outside the province will be able to purchase in-store, while our leisure wear range has been expanded to cater for a wide range of tastes."
He says the new range has been endorsed whole heartedly by the entire squad.
Richard Molloy of Connacht Rugby sponsors Mazda Ireland says the new jerseys highlight the change that is taking place at Connacht Rugby.
The home jersey is available now, while the away strip and supporting leisurewear will be available from August 25. Connacht Rugby season-ticket holders can avail of a 10 per cent discount on merchandise.
The new range will be available in the following Elverys outlets in Galway: Corbett Court Shopping Centre, Liosban, Tuam, and Retail Park.
In Mayo the new kits will be available in Ballina, Wesport, Castlebar and Castlemorris. Throughout the rest of the province the new strip can be purchased in Carrick-on-Shannon, Athlone, Johnston Court in Sligo, and Golden Island in Athlone. Elverys outlets in Arnotts shopping centre, the Aviva Stadium, Suffolk Street, Blanchardstown, Dawson Street and Fonthill, as well as the Cresent and Parkway outlets in Limerick will also have the new jersey in-store. Connacht Rugby will be holding a number of in-store promotions before the season kick off against the Cardiff Blues on September 1 to promote the new launch.