Ellis Rugby have joined forces with the Rugby League Lions Association to produce a licensed heritage collection inspired by the greats of the game. The first range, in what is hoped to be a full catalogue of Great Britain Collections, will be launched in mid-October and is based around the jersey worn in the late-1980s and early-1990s.
In this period, coach Malcolm Reilly led a stirring revival of Great Britain following heavy Test series defeats by Australia in the early-80s to restore pride in the national jersey. With legends of the game such as Ellery Hanley, Martin Offiah, Shaun Edwards, Andy Gregory and Garry Schofield at the peak of their powers, Great Britain became a force to be reckoned with.
This launch of the first collection will coincide with the 2017 Rugby League World Cup being staged in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The agreement will see profits from every sale donated to the Rugby League Lions Association, which works closely with the charity Rugby League Cares on its reunions and welfare programmes.
Kevin Ellis, Ellis Rugby MD, a former professional Rugby League player himself, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to be commissioned to design and manufacture the range – the 1980s was a golden era for International Rugby League and I’m sure the garments will offer a nostalgic appeal.”
John Ledger, the Secretary of the Rugby League Lions Association, said: “We are really excited by this partnership with Ellis Rugby which allows us to celebrate the glorious history of the Lions and Great Britain.
“The exceptional quality of Ellis Rugby apparel is guaranteed to be appreciated by the Rugby League family and we are confident this exciting collection will be a huge success among fans of all ages.
“The Lions Association is very grateful for the support of the RFL and its Chief Executive Nigel Wood, who recognised the important role the Lions continue to play in the story of international Rugby League.”
The Rugby League Lions heritage collection will be retailed through rugby specialists, general sports shops online at www.ellisrugby.com and through the Rugby League club shops from October.