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The Welsh shirt - now even more Welsh!

1st November 2004

For the first time in the history of international rugby in Wales, a Welsh brand will appear on the team's famous red shirts as the team runs out of the tunnel to face South Africa.

The Welsh brewer and pub company, Brains, has signed a four-year deal with the Welsh Rugby Union to become The Official Sponsor of the Welsh National Rugby Team and The Official Ale of the WRU. Home and away fans will now be able to enjoy a pint of Welsh beer at The Millennium Stadium, as Brains Smooth will be available in all stadium bars.

Wales could hardly have a more natural shirt sponsor. A visit to a Brains pub for a pint of S.A has long been an essential part of the Welsh rugby international experience - the two go hand-in-hand for Wales' supporters. And they always have - right from the beginnings of Welsh rugby and Brains beer in the 1880s.

Brains links with rugby has always been strong. Almost the same age as the WRU itself, Brains has supported rugby in Wales at all levels, and continues its sponsorship of Cardiff Blues and Cardiff RFC. Brains trades in more than 50 individual rugby clubs, supporting them in a range of different ways.

Like Welsh rugby, Brains is at an exciting stage in its development. You only need to walk round the centre of Cardiff to appreciate that Brains has complemented its traditional pubs, such as the Old Arcade, the Cottage and the Goat Major, with some impressive new bar restaurants, such as Yard Bar & Kitchen on St Mary Street, Is it? on Wharton Street, as well as Terra Nova and Salt in Cardiff Bay.

Brains is also brewing a brand new beer to celebrate its Welsh rugby sponsorship. It's called Bread of Heaven and is available in both draught and bottled forms. Watch out for it in bars and supermarkets all over Wales. A new TV commercial was recently filmed at The Millennium Stadium with the anthem of Welsh rugby, Cwm Rhondda, as its emotive soundtrack. These initiatives represent the first of a number of plans Brains has to bring its sponsorship to life over the coming four years.

Chairman of Brains, Christopher Brain commented: "Brains has always been inextricably linked with rugby in Wales, both on and off the pitch, and the sight of the Brains name on the most famous jersey in world rugby, bringing together two of Wales' best-loved institutions, has, in effect, made them both more Welsh".

Visit for more information and for tickets for Wales v South Africa call the Blues Hotline on 029 20 30 20 30.