Ospreys players will take time out for their preparations for the new season for the eagerly anticipated launch of their 2011/12 jersey this weekend.
Members of the squad currently training at Llandarcy Academy of Sport will be joined by their international colleagues who are preparing for the Rugby World Cup for the event at the Quadrant Shopping Centre in Swansea on Saturday (July 30) for the first ever public jersey launch by the region.
The players will be there from 12.30 pm to meet and greet loyal fans desperate to get their hands on the club’s newest strip made by leading rugby kit manufacturers Kooga.
Until now, the launch has always taken place behind closed doors with members of the media invited to private unveilings.
20-year old Ospreys wing Kristian Phillips said that the Quadrant would be the perfect venue for a public launch:
“We wanted to do the kit launch differently this year and take it out into the community, where as many people as possible could get to be part of the launch.
“There's nowhere busier on a Saturday afternoon than the Quadrant so it makes sense for us to go there for what will be a brilliant afternoon for both the players and the fans.”
Alan Wallace, manager of the Quadrant Centre, said:
“It is quite a coup for the Quadrant Centre to be hosting such an eagerly anticipated and exciting sporting event and I think we feel quite honoured to be the first venue outside of the Ospreys camp to do so.
“However, I do believe the team has picked one of the best possible Swansea spots to do so because we are a welcoming and family friendly destination for everyone to come and be a part of this great sporting occasion.
“I think it is especially great for some of the town’s younger rugby fans to come and see their heroes for themselves and who knows what rugby talent Swansea might be encouraging for the future.”
The new kit is being kept in a secret location well away from prying eyes but the hype surrounding the Quadrant event is already being felt by fans and the players themselves.
“I'm really excited about it. The kit launch is always massive and is a big event for the business, but because we are doing something different this year there's an even bigger buzz about the place.”
“I've had a look at the new kit and I think it's great. Possibly the best Ospreys kit yet and I think our fans will love it!”
The launch event will be hosted by 102.1 Bay Radio’s breakfast presenter, Tommo, with the players available to meet the fans and sign autographs before, during and after the unveiling.
There will be some special prizes up for grabs on the day, including two pairs of season tickets and one of the new jerseys.
Saturday’s launch event will kick start the new season for the region in earnest, with the first home game following three weeks later when Russia visit the Liberty Stadium on Sunday 21st August (KO 3.00pm), and as Phillips added, the excitement in the camp is growing as the first game draws nearer.
“It's going to be a really exciting few months at the start of the season” he said.
“With players at the World Cup, it's a fantastic opportunity for younger players like myself to really show what we can do. With four of the first five games at home, we've got a chance to really put the Ospreys in a good position in the league.”
Supporters attending the event will also be able to sign up for a season-ticket for the new campaign, offering them the chance to watch the Ospreys all season for less than £10 a game. Families signing up will get an even better deal, with up to four children able to go for free with one paying adult.