Gloucester Rugby have announced the penning of a new kit deal with Oxen Sports – a new and hitherto unknown firm to us and to top-flight rugby in general.
Oxen claim to be part of the Elite Pro Sports Group – a retailer and distributor based in Doncaster, who deal with a lot of rugby league brands, including Gloucester’s former kit partner XBlades.
Given the similarity in collar design on the new training jersey that has been revealed alongside the deal, we wonder if Oxen is the BLK to XBlades’ Kooga.
For the uninitiated, the brand behind BLK previously acted as the Australian licensee of Kooga, but when that agreement ended, it shifted all its sponsored teams (which at the time included the Wallabies and all but one of the Australian teams in Super Rugby) over to their own in-house brand, BLK.
“Oxen, which is plural for Ox, is renowned for being strong, powerful and hardworking,” said Elite Pro Sports CEO Lee Jenkinson, helpfully. “We believe it is synonymous with the performance and commitment demonstrated by Gloucester Rugby. We are really excited about the 2019/20 Oxen range that has been developed for Gloucester Rugby.”
Oxen also have a deal with Hartpury College (who of course are very close to Gloucester geographically and organisationally) but their only other significant partnership is with UK Gymnastics.
Keep an eye on Rugby Shirt Watch for all the latest news about Gloucester’s new Oxen 2019/20 on-field kit.