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Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Official ball of Rugby World Cup 2011

The Official ball of Rugby World Cup 2011

With the Rugby World Cup only a few months away, now is as good a time as any to take a closer look at the ball that will be used. Once again, Gilbert are the official suppliers, and have created a great looking ball.

You can expect two things to dominate the World Cup - defence, and kicking. As we've seen in past tournaments, if you master those two key elements, you're likely to go a long way.

With that in mind, Gilbert have put special emphasis on creating a ball that will provide goal and line kickers with improved accuracy. Out of hand, it will also have an impact as it has new rubber compounds that will have an influence on it's flight. It's been thoroughly tested, with former Test flyhalfs Paul Grayson and Braam van Straaten both having a chance to check it out.

The design is uniquely created, paying homage to the Maori people by incorporating stylistic elements taken directly from within their culture. The Hammerhead Shark, or Mongopare, is considered as the greatest shark because of it's tenacious nature, strength, and determination. The Fern shoot, or the Koru, represents the cycle of life, family, and creation.

Van Straaten, who during his career was outspoken about having a unified, standard match ball for all Test rugby, was impressed by the Gilbert Virtuo.

"There is no doubt that Gilbert is the leader when it comes to rugby balls, in my mind they have always been ahead of the pack. The ball travels perfectly through the air - it's aerodynamic and with the adaptation Gilbert has made to both the strength and the bladder makes it a pleasure to kick," he said.

The following video is a feature from Total Rugby about the ball, how it's made, and the design process. In your opinion, is there any other ball that comes close to Gilbert?

Note, clips from the Australia vs Samoa game will be featured on the site soon. Feel free to leave a request should there be anything in particular you're after. Thanks.

Time: 04:23
Note: Thanks to IRB Total Rugby
for the interesting feature

Posted by Rugbydump at 9:05 am | View Comments (32)

Viewing 32 comments

Anonymous July 17, 2011 9:03 am

Gilbert balls are class

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SpencaH July 17, 2011 9:18 am

They are very elongated balls, not like the shorter stumpy ones they usually make, much more like the ones the Italians use...wonder what the players make of it

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Anonymous July 17, 2011 9:22 am

Why do Gilbert only make ugly balls now? Back to the look of the 80s/70s please.

Let's have some class in rugby, not these tacky gift shop type designs.


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Anonymous July 17, 2011 9:32 am

Rugby continues it's descent into shitness, rules, gay dances, decrease in support, styles of play and now even the balls lame.

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Leeners93 July 17, 2011 10:12 am

obviously the same person leaving the 2 comments above.

the ball looks pretty standard,cant see how you'd fault it.gilbert are definitely a step ahead of the rest when it comes to rugby balls

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Z July 17, 2011 10:49 am

I like Gilbert but im not a fan of this ball nor the last. I difinately like the old school gilbert balls with the colour along the seams.

The ball is ooook, just not my cup of tea thats all....

Im pretty sure Gilbert always made longer balls, and the Mitre balls the italians use are more short and fat balls...

p.s this is not the same person as the other 2 comments, but my opinion is similar.

I must also note, they appear to have made the ball better for kicking....dont we all want to move away from a kicking game?!?

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Anonymous July 17, 2011 12:37 pm

Leeners93....nope..not the same person.

Don't you look silly now?

As for how I would fault it? Read the comment. It isn't my fault you have no elegance/class.

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Canadian content July 17, 2011 1:54 pm

Anonymous you are a peach! So enlightening to read your comments!

I like the design and couldn't kick worth shit when I played. I also prefer running rugby but appreciate the art of the boot and if kicking is going to happen I'd prefer to see it happen with a good ball

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Chris Boy July 17, 2011 2:39 pm

"the key to their success is the quality of the ball" - no it bloody well isn't!!! what an absolutely ridiculous claim.

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Leeners93 July 17, 2011 2:50 pm read my comment....

your complaint was that the ball was 'ugly'...i said that it looked pretty standard,the spiral pattern is hardly too outrageous.
i just can't see how you can find a problem with the design

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duh July 17, 2011 3:02 pm

^He doesn't have a problem with the ball. Just the same sad sap who keeps leaving troll comments on this site because it's how he gets his jollies.

And yeah, it most likely was the same guy leaving those two dumb comments.

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Anonymous July 17, 2011 4:39 pm

the mitre balls are longer and pointy, they are nice to pass but horrible for kickig "end over end", webb ellis balls are more stumpy which makes them great for dropkicks etc but they dont feel nice for long spin passes. gilbert balls are in the middle somewhere, which i assume is why they are so popular??!! thats just a guess. . .

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Anonymous July 17, 2011 5:24 pm

Portugal win the first Euro Grand Prix 7s Series in the last second with victory against Spain in the final. England, which controlled the whole series only managed to snap the 5th place and lost it to Portugal!

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Matt July 17, 2011 6:02 pm

Webb ellis balls are better in my opinion, mayby just me though :P

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Anonymous July 17, 2011 6:17 pm

What a lovely set of balls Gilbert have for show at the World Cup.
I can't wait to see 30 butch men wrestling over them.

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Anonymous July 17, 2011 7:18 pm


Australia just got a wake up call from Samoa!!! Now that was f*cking hilarious! Looks like they might need a remote control ball for the world cup to go anyway there way!!!!

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RedYeti July 17, 2011 8:20 pm

A ball the design of which is focussed on defence and kicking is hardly what most people want for a World Cup...

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Anonymous July 17, 2011 9:09 pm

From my experiences I've found Gilbert balls to be the best overall
however, I do not like the current design or previous WC ball. I get the need for some theme, but it doesn't do it for me, I'd prefer to see the themes built into the seams of the 2003 WC ball.

As for other brands, never got on with the Mitre balls, although every sports shop I've been into to buy a ball has plugged them, I feel this is because they are cheaper to buy and sell. Webb Ellis balls are to light and the grip doesn't seem to last 2 minutes. But, Gilbert do over charge for the privilege of owning the ball, based on the previous one 70-90 is a bit much.

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ElTigre July 17, 2011 9:47 pm

Looks like a rugby ball

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Anonymous July 17, 2011 11:51 pm

such up tigre you cock...

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Anonymous July 18, 2011 12:43 am

I'm not sure why we need a ball that's easier to kick - we already have goals being kicked from beyond the half-way mark.

Why not design the ball for better passing?

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Anonymous July 18, 2011 1:32 am

better ball for kicking...okay, fine.
better ball for passing...good, good.
I just want a ball that well make me run faster!

Oh, and "FIRST"!

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Anonymous July 18, 2011 4:48 am

its just a rugby ball, who cares what it looks like

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Anonymous July 18, 2011 10:22 am

I have to admit it does look very 'gift shop' I'm a fan of Gilberts design down the seems ala 2003 and previous....

Also why don't they design a ball that's shit for kicking..... Least that way the running game might improve....

Saying that.... As an England fan I think the betterthe ball is for kicking the better we might be...

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Anonymous July 18, 2011 10:39 am

To the guy above me,

Gilbert, an English company.

New slogan for Gilbert,

"Made for kicking, made for England"


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Anonymous July 18, 2011 11:16 am

^^ lol.... yeh i suppose thats right... I guess i meant i like the way it gives our game more of a chance, however i wish england would concentrate on running the ball more as they definitely have played better recently when they have run with it rather than just kicking it...

What balls do you guys down south use generally for your own club games and school games?

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poccio July 18, 2011 12:44 pm

why do they get feed back from a 10? they should get their feedback from a hooker!

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Anonymous July 18, 2011 6:38 pm

Because as we've said and they've said its designed for better kicking...

So a 10 would be the natural feedback person....

personally i dont like the idea of a ball made to improve kicking.... its a ball....and this is rugby, i dont want to see a game of kick kick kick kick....

I suppose they have tested it alot with hookers, second rows, scrum halves and fly halves....

and ofcourse made sure richie mccaw can still get hold of it properly at the bottom of a ruck when its not his teams ball...

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Anonymous July 22, 2011 2:07 pm

The Gilbert balls are NOT easier to kick, they are just more consistent when kicked correctly!! Listen to the article properly!!!!!!!

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Anonymous July 22, 2011 2:10 pm

The design is made to fit in with where the RWC 2011 is being held, making it a ball specifically related to teh NZ World Cup!! They are probably not allowed to have their trademarked oval print design on it, who knows.
I think it looks great as a maori type design, and it will almopst definitely be great for all players in teh RWC, their last ball was super grippy, even in the wet!

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Anonymous August 03, 2011 8:06 pm

2003 Gilbert World Cup Ball - 'It's very very slippy ' - Francois Pienaar,Michael Lynagh.
2007 Gilbert World Cup Ball - 'There is a major problem with this ball' - Jonny Wilkinson.
What disaster will the 2011 ball hold in store?

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