GILBERT announces deal with New Zealand Rugby Union

  • New partnership covers all New Zealand Rugby Union teams, including All Blacks, Black Ferns and Sevens
  • Partnership also covers Domestic Competitions
  • New deal means Gilbert now partner with Top 20 Men’s and Top 10 Women’s Unions in World Rugby

Gilbert announces new partnership to become the Official Rugby Ball of New Zealand Rugby Union, at all levels.

For the first time in 18 years, Gilbert returns to NZRU as the premier rugby ball in World Rugby, to both the All Blacks and Black Ferns teams. This completes - for the first time ever - a full set of the Top 20 Men’s teams and Top 10 Women’s teams in the world, all using the same market leading Gilbert match ball.

The Gilbert ball will be used in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki, Bunnings Warehouse NPC, Farah Palmer Cup presented by Bunnings Warehouse and the Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship from this season and will be used by the All Blacks in the 2024 Steinlager Ultra Low Carb Series, 2024 Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship and the 2024 Bledisloe Cup and the Black Ferns in the Pac 4 and WXV World Rugby tournaments. 

Dating back to 1823 and celebrating its bicentenary last year, Gilbert has a unique heritage in rugby with William Gilbert supplying some of the very first rugby balls to Rugby School when William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball and ran with it. Now, Gilbert’s iNNOVO match ball remains the preferred choice of the world’s leading nations and Gilbert has been the official ball at the Rugby World Cup for the last eight consecutive tournaments.

NZR CEO Mark Robinson said:  “We expect this will be a welcome announcement for teams and players across New Zealand, as Gilbert are renowned for their innovation and expertise in this space. They have a long history in sports and we are proud to be aligned with such a well-respected brand and to see world class Gilbert balls at the centre of rugby action throughout our country.”

Gilbert Rugby Commercial CEO, Richard Gray added: “We are delighted to announce a new partnership with New Zealand Rugby that will see the Gilbert ball return to the heart of rugby across New Zealand, a country unrivalled in its passion for the game. 

At Gilbert we are committed to continuously improving and elevating the modern game for both players and fans. We are confident that the new range of official All Blacks, Black Ferns and NZR balls will engage rugby fans in New Zealand and across the globe better than ever before.

We are excited to see the world’s best players performing on the biggest stages with a Gilbert ball at the heart of the action.” 

Gilbert Rugby Australia and New Zealand Sales & Marketing Director Nick Gray echoed these sentiments, stating: “We are extremely proud to re-connect with New Zealand Rugby through this momentous partnership.”

“A lot of development and collaboration has gone into creating this new range of products for all members of the New Zealand rugby community, from the elite players, to the junior ranks.”

The Official Gilbert All Blacks, Black Ferns and NZR balls are now available here and in sports retail stores.