Cardiff Blues stars Tom Shanklin and Jamie Roberts today launched the regions new home shirt for the 2008/09 season, ahead of the Blues last campaign at the historic Arms Park before moving to their new home at Leckwith Stadium.
Speaking about the new shirts, Tom Shanklin said: The kit feels really great. Its the same style that many of the international sides such as South Africa, Ireland and Scotland use, with grips on the front which is meant to help hold onto the ball, and on the shoulders, which helps bind in the scrums.
The shirt has been specifically designed to meet the demanding and rigorous requirements of first class rugby by its creators, Canterbury of New Zealand. It includes grip panels on the chests to aid ball retention when running, as well as an exclusive lightweight poly-cotton fabric, which helps keep players cool and dispels sweat away from the body.
The new, slim-fitting shirts have also dispensed with the classic loop collar and been replaced with a tight-fitting, asymmetric neckline again to reduce fabric that an opponent could hang onto.
The shirt features new team sponsor EADS Defence and Security (EADS DS), a major player in the aerospace and defence sector. The Blues have signed an initial one-year agreement with exclusive extension options with the South-Wales based company, which will see EADS appear as lead sponsor on the players shirts for the 2008/09 season.
Its great to have such a good company as EADS on board, theyve supported Toulouse for a number of years, so its good that they are backing us also added Shanklin.
Cardiff Blues Chief Executive Robert Norster said: This is an historic year for the Cardiff Blues as we begin the final season at the Arms Park and look forward to a new future for the region at Leckwith Stadium.
Fans will undoubtedly be keen to see the last shirt worn by the Blues at the Arms Park, and the impressive design of the kit is a fitting reflection of us as a club and where we are going.
We are also delighted to have completed a partnership agreement with such a major European business as EADS. The company's 25th anniversary of their association with our Heineken Cup opponents of last season, Stade Touloussain, was a memorable occasion that we were delighted to help celebrate and we sincerely hope our new relationship will prove to be as long standing and successful.
Speaking of the new high-profile partnership with the Cardiff Blues, EADS DS Vice President Mike Simms said: We are proud to support the Cardiff Blues. The rugby team is an important part of community life in the capital city and the wider region. EADS is pleased to be associated with Cardiff Blues and the nations favourite sport.
The new Home Shirt 2008/09 Classic Fit will be available to pre-order for £50 plus postage and package on www.cardiffblues.com/shop from Wednesday 13 August.