Gilbert (sports equipment)

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Gilbert is a sports equipment manufacturing company, specialising in balls for rugby union and netball. The company was established by William Gilbert, a Cobbler, in 1823, who along with his nephew, James, developed footballs for the neighbouring Rugby School. In 2002, after experiencing financial difficulties following a management buyout, Gilbert was purchased by Grays International.[1] When William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it in 1823, it was a Gilbert ball.

Gilbert is the Official ball supplier of the Rugby World Cup 2015,[2][3][4] England Rugby England National Rugby Union Team, Welsh Rugby Union, Scottish Rugby Union, Australia National Rugby Union Team, South Africa national rugby union team, France national rugby union team, Italy national rugby union team, Argentina National Rugby Union Team, and the International Federation of Netball Associations.[5] Gilbert is also the official ball supplier of the ANZ Championship, the biggest netball competition in the world and also the official supplier of the Netball World Championships. Their products include the Gilbert Synergie rugby ball.

In September 2014, Gilbert Rugby launched the Match-XV[6] match ball. The Match-XV ball has been developed specifically for Rugby World Cup 2015, in England. The Match-XV match ball will be used throughout the Aviva Premiership English Premiership (rugby union), Top 14 and by all Gilbert sponsored National Unions in the test matches in November 2015.


The following is a list with teams, associations and players that wear uniforms and equipment provided by Gilbert:

Rugby Union[edit]

National teams[edit]

Clubs and provincial sides[edit]




National teams[edit]


  1. ^ "Batmaker gets balls as James Gilbert is rescued". September 15, 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  2. ^ "How Gilbert plans to keep England on the ball". London: The Times. October 20, 2003. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  3. ^ "Gilbert to supply official match ball for RWC 07". Rugby Football Union. January 9, 2006. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  4. ^ "Gilbert to supply balls for RWC 2011 and 2015". International Rugby Board. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  5. ^ "Gilbert - Official Ball Supplier". International Federation of Netball Associations. July 19, 2006. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  6. ^ "Innovative Rugby World Cup 2015 Match XV ball launched". East Sussex: Gilbert Rugby. August 29, 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-29. 

External links[edit]