NSW Rugby (NSWRU) can confirm that current apparel partner – XBLADES – will not see out the remaining two years of their contract with the organisation.
Originally signing a three-year deal at the end of 2019, the apparel and footwear provider has requested to cease their association with NSW Rugby at all levels due to the impacts of COVID-19.
XBLADES were contracted to supply teamwear to NSW Waratahs Super Rugby, Super W, and Academy teams as well as the ‘Gen Blue’ junior program and NSWRU referees until the end of 2022.
NSWRU CEO, Paul Doorn said that it was disappointing – but understandable – that XBLADES couldn’t continue working with the organisation.
“At the time [of signing XBLADES] it was a landmark deal for our organisation and the game in New South Wales,” Doorn said.
“Over the course of the last 12 months, we’ve really enjoyed working with Alastair [Davies] and the wider team at XBLADES – the outcome being what I think is some fantastic teamwear apparel.
“Whilst we’re disappointed that they’ve been forced to terminate our deal, we also haven’t been immune to the effects of COVID-19 and understand the devastating impact this has had to business across the country and the world.
“To their credit, the team at XBLADES have been completely transparent from the outset about their ability meet the terms of our existing deal – giving us the time we need to make alternate arrangements for 2021.”
Doorn thanked XBLADES for their contribution to NSWRU during their tenure as the organisations apparel partner.
“I’d like to thank XBLADES for all of their work throughout 2020, it’s certainly been a challenging year on many fronts but they’ve been a fantastic partner throughout,” Doorn added.
“We wish them all the best as they navigate the current challenges COVID-19 has presented all of us.”
CEO of XBLADES, Alastair Davies said it was a regrettable situation to be parting ways with NSWRU.
“This year has presented many challenges for all of us, but we are very proud of what we have achieved with the Waratahs,” Davies said.
“We wish NSWRU all the best for the remainder of this year and hope that collectively, and individually, we successfully navigate the difficult business environment we are all currently faced with.
“It has been a privilege to partner with the Waratahs and the NSWRU and whilst this is not the outcome we envisaged when partnering 12 months ago, we have enjoyed working our time working closely with Paul [Doorn], Adam [Fulepp] and the NSWRU team.
“Our hope is that we all can overcome the difficult trading conditions brought about by COVID-19 and that our paths cross once again in the not-too-distant future."
NSWRU are currently in the process of finalising an agreement with a new apparel partner, with an announcement expected in the coming days.