18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Kukri have signed a two-year deal securing licensing rights for Celtic Rugby branded leisure wear and which will see Kukri supply the kit for all Celtic Rugby match officials.
Phil Morris, Commercial Director at Kukri, said: We're really excited at the prospect of getting involved with the twelve clubs and with Celtic Rugby at the start of what will be a huge growth period for rugby in the three countries. With 23 of the professional team's guaranteed 27 games being within the Celtic tournaments and with a nine month time window for regular product promotion we are confident that we can attract new customers for our range. With the longer season and the additional TV exposure for our brand, we see this as a perfect platform to introduce our company to sports organisations within the three countries with whom we can potentially have a supplier relationship. With our Celtic leisurewear range specifically, we will be looking to appeal to both the traditional rugby market and to introduce items suitable for both females and the younger supporter."
Keith Grainger, Tournament Director of the two Celtic competitions explained that "Kukri have been awarded the contract despite the interest of some of rugby's bigger supplier names" and added: "We were really impressed by Kukri's desire to work with us. Their attitude and ability to make things happen coupled with the enthusiasm shown by all their staff who worked on the creation of a suitable range of Celtic Rugby kit and leisurewear has been most refreshing. Their investment in our new look products in resources and in financial terms is significant and we are both committed to building the business, I feel sure that we will both benefit over the initial two year period of our arrangement.
" We have 10 television companies as our broadcast partners and, in addition to Kukri, we will shortly be in a position to announce other significant commercial partnerships. This really is a very exciting time for Celtic Rugby."