A LEADING sports kit manufacturer has come under fire for opting to use a model instead of a current player to debut the new Ireland women’s national team rugby jersey.
Canterbury issued an apology after it emerged that while several senior men’s players had been recruited for the photoshoot showcasing the new shirt, none of the women’s team had been included.
The promotional shots sparked a backlash among fans online, who were quick to question the decision not to use any current female Irish rugby stars for the kit launch.
One critic said it was a “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,” they tweeted.
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
Canterbury has since apologised for failing to include any of the current Ireland women’s team.
"While the image was primarily designed for our website, which also features male models, it has understandably caused some frustration," the company said in a statement.
"We accept that this was an error and apologise for any upset caused."
"It was always, and remains, our intention to photograph the female players in the new jersey and we remain committed to supporting the talented women in our rugby community on and off the field," Canterbury added
In response to the backlash, the kit manufacturer has also pledged to relaunch the new women's jersey in October ahead of Ireland’s crunch six nations clash with Italy.
Ireland’s women had won two of their three opening Six Nations game prior to fixtures being halted by the pandemic.
They are due to face Italy before concluding the campaign against France in what could prove to be a title decider.