10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Developed in consultation with Irish international players and management, the striking black and green alternate jersey marks a new departure from the traditional white and green alternate strip and will be the first non-white alternate jersey to be worn by the Irish rugby team in a competitive match.
The new IRFU alternate jersey comprises of a high tech nylon/lycra four way stretch body material. The fabric is a two layer bonded knit with a breathable membrane and a moisture management finish, enabling the wearer to stay cool and dry whilst performing at their optimum.
The unique nature of the four way stretch material also allows the athlete to perform with unhindered movement.
Roger Harrision, Marketing Director of PUMA UK & Ireland, commented: "We're delighted with the new alternate Ireland jersey as it marks a new departure from the traditional white and green and the feedback from players and coaches through the production process has been hugly positive.
"The funtionality and comfort for players is always our top priority but it has to look great too and we think the black and green design has a stand out quality. We're looking forward to seeing it against the Springboks at the Aviva."
Padraig Power, Commercial & Marketing Director of the IRFU, said: "With South Africa coming to town, the launch of a new Ireland alternate Jersey gives us an opportunity to bring some variety to how we present the Irish rugby brand.
"We think the new green and black jersey looks fantastic. The style is contemporary and innovative and the team really love the look.
"Our feedback from supporters has been very positive and we expect it to look really strong on the pitch. We think our supporters will be delighted with it and they will wear it with pride."