RUGBY: Charles Piutau helps unveil Ulster’s new bespoke European jersey

New Ulster Rugby signings Rodney Ah You, Charles Piutau and Marcell Coetzee wear the new Ulster Rugby European Rugby kit
New Ulster Rugby signings Rodney Ah You, Charles Piutau and Marcell Coetzee wear the new Ulster Rugby European Rugby kit

New Zealand arrival Charles Piutau is poised to make his debut for Ulster at the ground where he finished his Wasps career.

Ulster will play Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Bay on Saturday in the second of their pre-season friendlies as they build to the start of the new Guinness PRO12 season next month.

Wasps, having beaten Exeter in the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup suffered a loss to them in the Aviva Premiership semi-finals - their last match of the season.

“It was not the best memory to have of last season,” admitted Piutau. “But hopefully if I am involved this weekend I will be able to come away with a win.”

There is early interest in the game against the English side as the clubs are due to meet later this season in the European Champions Cup.

But there will be little can be taken from the game for both sides, Piutau saying that it was a case of moving on to the next stage of the pre-season.

Piutau, joined Marcell Coetzee, Kieran Treadwell, Angus Lloyd, Rodney Ah You and Brett Herron and 250 Ulster Rugby season ticket holders, at an exclusive event at Kingspan Stadium last night as the club unveiled its new Ulster’s new European kit, manufactured by Kukri Sports.

For the first time Ulster will to have a bespoke European kit, which will be worn during all European games both home and away.

Rugby’s Season Ticket Ambassador Andrew Trimble was MC for the evening.

The European elite jersey combines the latest kit technologies and bold new designs.

Created by Kukri’s team in Lisburn, County Antrim, the jersey is made from 4D technical fabric, has a ‘bridge’ collar and is sublimated.

The front and back of the jersey features a traditional rugby hoop design constructed by several smaller hoops to add a modern edge, and there is a flash of white across the chest area to display the distinctive Ulster Rugby logo.

Like Ulster’s home and away jerseys, the Kingspan logo features across the chest as main sponsor, with Bank of Ireland, BT Sport and Go Power also prominent.

Faded into the side panels is a European Cup trophy illustration, and Kukri proudly salutes the team of ‘99 by placing a star in the middle to represent their victorious campaign.

A tribute to the loyalty of our fans features inside the collar of this special jersey, where the words ‘I take my stand by the Ulster names’ is printed in gold.

This is the opening line to the poem ‘Ulster Names’ by renowned poet, John Hewitt, a celebrated scribe of the Province which resonates a sense of identity and belonging. A suitable nod to the thousands who stand up for the Ulstermen.

Terry Jackson, Director and General Manager of Kukri Ireland, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Ulster Rugby to create their first ever European jersey.

“Working on a design that gives recognition to the proud history and heritage of the club has been an honour, and we look forward to creating more unique kits for the team in the coming seasons.”

The new European Ulster Rugby jerseys start at £55 for children and £65 for adults and are available in the Ulster Rugby shop at Kingspan Stadium, in retail outlets and online at www.ulsterrugbyshop.com