Gilbert Rugby

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Gilbert Rugby
IndustrySports equipment
Founded1823 (1823)[1]
FounderWilliam Gilbert
HeadquartersRobertsbridge, UK
Area served
ProductsRugby union and netball equipment and accessories
ParentGrays International

Gilbert is a sports equipment manufacturing brand, specialising in rugby union and netball. The company is mostly known for its rugby union balls, having been official supplier for the World Cup since 1995.[2]


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.[3]

Gilbert have supplied an unprecedented 7 Rugby World Cups in a row;[4][5] starting with in 1995 in South Africa; Wales in 1999; Australia in 2003; France in 2007; New Zealand in 2011; England in 2015 and Japan in 2019.

Gilbert was the official ball supplier of the Rugby World Cup 2015,[6][7][8] and 2019 and is the current long-standing official rugby ball of England, Wales, Scotland, Australia, South Africa, France, Italy, Argentina. They also provide balls for the International Federation of Netball Associations.[9] 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" ball,[10] which was developed specifically for the 2015 World Cup held in England. The Match-XV match ball was worn throughout the Premiership Rugby,[11] Top 14[12] and by all Gilbert-sponsored national unions in the test matches in November 2015.


The following table details products manufactured and commercialised by Gilbert for rugby union and netball markets.

Gilbert XT400 rugby union ball
Sport Range of products
Rugby union Balls, kit uniforms (jerseys/shorts/socks), protective gear (body armors, shoulder pads, head guards, scrum caps, mouthguards, gloves), boots, compression garments, bags, safety cones, tees, water bottles, tackle bags
Netball Balls, Uniform equipment, footwear, post, rings


The following teams, associations and players wear uniforms and equipment provided by Gilbert:

Rugby union[edit]




  1. ^ Grays of Cambridge (International) Ltd. "Gilbert Rugby - History - Rugby's Original Brand".
  2. ^ Gilbert será la pelota oficial de la Rugby World Cup, 24 March 2010
  3. ^ "Batmaker gets balls as James Gilbert is rescued". 15 September 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
  4. ^ Ashdown, John (2015-09-05). "Rugby World Cup 2015: what you need to know". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  5. ^ "RWC 15: A history of the World Cup match ball". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  6. ^ "How Gilbert plans to keep England on the ball". London: The Times. 20 October 2003. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  7. ^ "Gilbert to supply official match ball for RWC 07". Rugby Football Union. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 24 February 2009.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Gilbert to supply balls for RWC 2011 and 2015". International Rugby Board. 5 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-09-07. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  9. ^ "Gilbert - Official Ball Supplier". International Federation of Netball Associations. 19 July 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  10. ^ "Innovative Rugby World Cup 2015 Match XV ball launched". East Sussex: Gilbert Rugby. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-29.
  12. ^ Sharper Kicks & More Tries as new Gilbert MATCH-XV Balls Arrive by Adam Redmond on, 20 December 2017

External links[edit]