Canterbury has responded to a viral Twitter post claiming there was a 'huge opportunity missed' with the launch of the new Irish rugby jersey.
The new Ireland Home and Alternate jerseys were unveiled on August 20, delivering a 'never seen before look and energy to both player and supporter.'
However, Twitter user Florence Williams noticed a 'missed opportunity' with the launch of the women's jersey.
While the men's jersey was modelled by high profile players Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw and Conor Murray, the women's jersey was showcased by models in the place of rugby players.
The tweet, which has received over 500 retweets and 2.6K likes at the time of writing, reads:
'SPOT THE DIFFERENCE. 2 Jersey Launches; 3 Models; 3 International Players; 3 Profiles lifted;
'1 HUGE Opportunity Missed
'By not using the female players to market THEIR OWN KIT an opportunity to build recognition, fan bases & creating role models for future generations is lost.'
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE 🇮🇪
2 Jersey Launches
3 International Players
3 Profiles lifted
1 HUGE Opportunity Missed
By not using the female players to market THEIR OWN KIT an opportunity to build recognition, fan bases & creating role models for future generations is lost. pic.twitter.com/TM75AH5rKr
— Florence Williams (@FlorenceW94) August 22, 2020
Florence followed up by writing: 'A nameless face in the jersey does nothing to represent the women who will be wearing it. Brilliant to inspire the future Robbie Henshaw’s and Connor Murray’s, but when visibility for the women’s game is so key, this is a missed opportunity & thoughtless marketing.'
While many echoed the sentiment, Canterbury were quick to explain the apparent gaffe, asserting that the official women's jersey launch was pushed back due to Covid 19, but that they were 'too excited' not to show off the new design along with the men's launch.
A representative wrote:
'Due to COVID-19 our women’s jersey was halted in production, pushing back our women’s shoot and launch. So our women’s launch hasn’t happened yet.
'Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for the official women’s jersey launch and creative.'
Due to COVID-19 our women’s jersey was halted in production, pushing back our women’s shoot and launch. So our women’s launch hasn’t happened yet. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for the official women’s jersey launch and creative. Thanks, #TeamCCC.
— Canterbury (@canterburyNZ) August 23, 2020
In another tweet the rep further explained:
'The models you see above are from a 2019 photo shoot for e-commerce photography in the old jersey. Our team have super imposed the new jersey on. Social distancing and player/photographer safety is important to us, so the women’s shoot hasn’t taken place yet. Thanks.'
The Irish Rugby website states that the Women's replica jersey will be launched in October:
'Canterbury is also delighted to announce that a Women’s team replica jersey will be launching in October, in time for the rescheduled 2020 Six Nations fixtures and can be pre-ordered for women and kids today on Elverys.ie'
Lead image via Shutterstock