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Pro14

Connacht launch new kit featuring new look logo

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The Connacht squad returned to training at the Sportsground on Thursday, beginning their pre-season programme for the upcoming season of GUINNESS PRO14 and Heineken Champions Cup rugby. The province have also unveiled their 2019/20 home kit as well as a new logo design.

The new logo strongly reflects the original provincial crest with evolutions of the core elements. The new logo sheds the rugby ball feature of old, providing much greater prominence and emphasis on the more traditional elements of the eagle and sword.

The wing tips of the eagle have been reworked and consolidated to represent each of the five counties of the province with the arm strengthened and holding the sword upright, denoting ambition. Some minor changes to the font have also been introduced.

The logo was unveiled at the launch of the 2019/20 Connacht home kit. The kit is manufactured by BLK Sport Ireland and includes their exclusive Exotek four way stretch fabric, clean cut collar, and fluro green detailing incorporated in the sleeve cuff and neck.

Commenting on the new design, Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said: “As an organisation we are continuously looking to evolve and improve everything we do. Throughout that evolution, however, it is important we always remember where we are from and who it is that we represent.

“Our new logo design aims to reflect that evolution whilst also placing much greater prominence on the extremely strong core elements of the original Connacht provincial crest. The beginning of the new season and the return of PRO14 and Champions Cup rugby to the Sportsground provides a fitting opportunity to unveil our refreshed design and to continue with our evolution and progression both on and off the pitch.”

At the launch of the new Connacht kit, Bruce Wood, Head of Brand at BLK Sport Ireland, added: “It’s a very exciting time to be a part of Connacht Rugby with their return to Champions Cup rugby. There is an infectious ambition on and off the field in Connacht and we are proud to work closely with Connacht management to create a home kit to match this excitement and ambition.”

The new Connacht home jersey features Elverys.ie branding and is available for pre-sale from 12pm today – click here.

Commenting on the continued title sponsorship, Intersport Elverys Director of Buying & Marketing, Loman Caulfield, explained the renewed focus on the Intersport Elverys website as a key link with the Connacht brand, saying: “Connacht Rugby have a significant national and international presence and we believe this sponsorship will help increase awareness of our online presence among all consumers and in particular rugby fans and players.

“While Intersport Elverys have a strong presence across the country with 52 locations, we stock our largest range of sports products in our online store, with all the products that we stock online being available in all of our stores through click and collect.”

The post Connacht Launch Refreshed Logo And New Home Kit appeared first on Irish Rugby.

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography

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Premiership

New ‘British League’ to Begin Within Two Years

A club chairman has claimed that a ‘British League’ will be made within the next two years merging two major leagues together according to reports

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

An anonymous leading club chairman has told The Rugby Paper that a British League could be created in the next two years.

It is believed that the CVC group, whom are looking to secure a 27 percent share in the PRO14 following a similar deal with the English Premiership earlier this year, are looking to make a major change to the leagues.

The former owners of Formula One and Moto GP are apparently looking to merge the two competitions if they claim a stake in the PRO14.

With a deal sealed to buy into the Premiership during last season, the 13 clubs that own Premier Rugby Ltd will be receiving around £13.5m a piece following the completion of a deal worth around £275m.

It is thought that a similar deal would be on the cards for the PRO14 side’s if they claim their stake in the competition.

The merging of the competitions is of the best interest of the CVC group according to the source and they believe that the Welsh clubs would be very encouraged by the idea.

“A British League will happen in two years’ time. It will happen because it is the best outcome for the game in the four home countries and for CVC. It will appeal to the Welsh regions in particular and the Premiership clubs. Not one is profitable with the exception of Exeter and a British League will go along way towards providing stability,” they said.

The source went on to further discuss how the move could be a real boost for the Welsh regions especially.

“In Wales, it will be seen as the only opportunity to be sustainable Their regions lost between £5m-£6m last year. They have been kept going by the generosity of a few backers and the danger is they will get even fewer unless something radical is done. Fixtures like Cardiff Blues against Bristol, Dragons versus Gloucester, Ospreys against Bath and Scarlets against Saracens will stop the downward spiral of attendances in Wales,” they continued.

Although the Welsh regions appear to be the biggest beneficiaries of the potential merger, it seems as though the Irish provinces are not guaranteed to be involved and the league could go ahead without them.

“Commercially, they could be as much as 50 per cent better off. It will be important to have all four Irish provinces on board but, if necessary, we will go ahead and do it without them,” they finished.

The league is an interesting possibility, but it could cause potential problems by undermining the Champions and Challenge Cups, as well as they question of what happens to the Irish teams if they don’t sign up? All is up in the air at the moment and we will have to wait and see if this project becomes a reality.

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Pro14

Ulster Bring in Tyrone GAA Coach

Ulster are looking to build on a successful season and have brought in a GAA coach to help them

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ulster have recruited highly rated Tyrone GAA strength and conditioning coach Peter Donnelly ahead of the 2019/20 season according to The Irish News. 

The former Tyrone player will work with the academy and will join following the conclusion of the Red Hands’ All-Ireland Football Championship campaign which continues tomorrow when they face Cork in Croke Park.

Ulster are excited to be able to bring in someone with Donnelly’s experience and the different angle he will bring to the sport having trained in GAA according to an Ulster Rugby source.

“Peter has a wealth of experience in GAA and we feel he will add real value to the academy set-up that we have working with the natural talent that is coming through the pathway there. Everyone at Ulster Rugby is really excited to see what Peter can bring to the table,” the Ulster Rugby source said.

Since his retirement from inter-county football Donnelly coached Cavan before returning to Tyrone where he has created a programme that people believe has created some of the most well-conditioned players in the country.

Ulster will be looking forward to having him on board as they look to build on a successful season in the PRO 14 and Champions Cup, however, the hunt for silverware continues and they will hope Donnelly can help take them to the top.

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Pro14

Glasgow Sign Yet Another Fijian Starlet

Glasgow Warriors have confirmed the arrival of another young Fijian player to their squad for the 2019/20 season

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(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Glasgow Warriors have announced the signing of Fijian forward Jale Vakaloloma on a two-year-deal subject to visa and a medical.

The 22-year-old 6-foot 5-inch Fijian normally lines-out in the back-row but can also slot in comfortably as a second-row.

He signs for Glasgow after an impressive spell in Australia and is excited about the prospect of playing in Europe.

“This is a great opportunity for me to play with a top European side and I can’t wait to get started. Working under the coaching team led by Dave Rennie can only improve my game and I know many Fijians have gone to Glasgow and been successful and I hope to follow in their footsteps. At the moment my focus is on training hard and once I travel over to Scotland I will work even harder to earn a place in the team,” he said.

Warriors head coach Dave Rennie has been impressed by Vakaloloma’s form over the past while and believes that joining the Glasgow-based side will help him fulfil his potential.

“We’re hugely excited by Jale’s raw talent and believe he has the potential to grow into an excellent player in our environment. He is a really impressive athlete; dynamic, powerful and skilful. He’s extremely dangerous in open play and his versatility will be important for our squad depth, especially in a World Cup year. He has been a standout player in club footy in Australia and we’re looking forward to him making the step up with us this season,” he said.

Vakaloloma has been named in Fiji’s World Cup training squad and could be heading to the tournament in Japan later this year which may mean he won’t join the squad until November.

However, when he arrives, he will feel right at home as he joins fellow Fijians Niko Matawalu and Mesu Dolokoto at the club for the 2019/20 season.

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