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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
New name for Welsh shirts
Scott Quinnell (left) and Michael Owen model the new kits
Scott Quinnell and Michael Owen model the new kits
The Welsh rugby team will be sponsored by American leisure and footwear company Rockport for the next two years.

The 1m deal will see the firm's name replace Redstone on the front of the national team's shirt.

Rockport is part of a group owned by Reebok, the official kit suppliers to the team, and Welsh Rugby Union chairman Glanmor Griffiths said he was pleased to strengthen the link.


The link proves Welsh rugby is still highly valued in the sporting world
Glanmor Griffiths

"The WRU and the national team are delighted to be associated which such an innovative and well established leisurewear company," he said.

"Coming at the start of the countdown to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, this deal is a real confidence booster for the Welsh players.

"These are tough times for professional sporting bodies and teams in the field of sponsorship.

"Our link with Rockport proves that Welsh rugby is still highly valued in the sporting world and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with them.

WRU chairman Glanmor Griffiths
Glanmor Griffiths is delighted with the new deal

"Having relationships with such significant global companies as Reebok and Rockport is excellent news for Welsh rugby and provides vital revenue to our national game."

As well as carrying a new name across the chest, the Welsh jersey for the 2002/2003 season will also have a new look.

The home kit will have a black collar and black piping on a traditional red shirt and black shorts, while the away strip will be black with a green collar and white shorts.

The new strip will be used in the four autumn internationals that face Steve Hansen's men in November.

Wales will play four games during the month, starting with a clash with Romania at The Racecourse, Wrexham on 1 November.

There are then three successive matches at the Millennium Stadium - against Fiji on 9 November, Canada on 16 November and New Zealand on 23 November.

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Scott Quinnell
"I'm fit and looking forward to the start of the season"

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