The Rugby Football League has announced another significant step on the road to this year’s Rugby League World Cup with a new five-year partnership with UK-based sportswear manufacturer OXEN to produce all technical kit for the England Men, Women, Wheelchair and Physical Disability teams.
The new England designs will be unveiled ahead of the Mid-Season Internationals in June, when the England Men, Women and Wheelchair teams will take the field in them for the first time.
OXEN are part of the Elite Pro Sports Group and have been working in the sports industry for over 30 years, with especially detailed knowledge of Rugby League, and a growing presence in the Betfred Super League.
A key part of the deal will be the availability of a wider and more diverse training and replica shirt range than ever before, to allow Rugby League fans to show their support for England in the countdown to the World Cup – as well as a dedicated England “store within a store” in the Merrion Centre in central Leeds.
The deal will also mean a new look for the RFL’s Match Officials from 2021 – on show for the first time when the Betfred Challenge Cup kicks off this weekend. OXEN will also produce kit for RFL performance staff, other teams in the England Performance Unit including the Knights, Academy and Scholarship, and the England Community Lions Men and Women teams.
Tony Sutton, the RFL’s Chief Operating Officer, said:
“This is a significant long-term partnership for the RFL at the start of such an exciting year for the sport. OXEN share our excitement about what lies ahead for our Men, Women, Wheelchair and Physical Disability teams. Their experience and knowledge of Rugby League will be a major asset to our players, coaches, match officials and also supporters, as we look forward to England Rugby League having a higher profile than ever this autumn.”
Lee Jenkinson, the Chief Executive of OXEN, said:
“We are thrilled to be the official kit suppliers to the England Rugby League teams and the Rugby Football League. We are passionate about the sport and we understand how important it is to have three World Cups in England – and we’re looking forward to working closely with Shaun Wane, Craig Richards, Tom Coyd and their colleagues in the England Performance Unit to provide the best technical kit for the England players.
“We will also be focused on providing exciting and diverse training ranges and replica shirts for supporters. We have a proven track record of increasing retail sales in our partnerships – in addition to well over a decade’s knowledge of Rugby League.
“We’re excited about the prospect of breaking new ground with our ‘Store within a Store’ dedicated to England Rugby League in the Merrion Centre and this will be launched with a full and comprehensive range of new England products ahead of the Mid-season Internationals.
“We urge England Rugby League fans to sign up to our newsletter, to ensure you are the first to hear about all our new England RL merchandise and promotions.”
The RFL has enjoyed and valued our working relationship with Hummel over the last three years – a period which included a memorable home series win for England’s Men against New Zealand, a ground-breaking tour of Papua New Guinea for England Women, and the return of the famous Great Britain Rugby League jersey and other training apparel which was especially well-received by supporters. We are pleased that Hummel have gained a footprint in the sport and that they will continue their work with Hull FC, Wakefield Trinity and Wigan Warriors.