As part of a new three-year partnership, Australian Sports Manufacturer Steeden will become the Official Match Ball supplier to Betfred Super League, Championship and League 1, the Challenge Cup and England Rugby League programmes.
Steeden is currently the official match ball of the NRL, New Zealand Rugby League, Queensland Rugby League and New South Wales Rugby League amongst many others and the Symmetry match ball will be reintroduced at the professional level in the UK this season ensuring continuity and familiarity for players.
Steeden match balls will be in use from early January for all pre-season games and will feature in Round 1 of the Challenge Cup over the weekend of January, 26 and 27.
The three-year agreement sees the Rugby Football League move away from Rhino Rugby League, who have been a partner since 2014, but will continue to provide branded equipment in 2019.
Rugby Football League Chief Executive Ralph Rimmer said: “We’re pleased to have entered in to a new partnership with Steeden which will see them become Official Ball Supplier across the various levels of elite Rugby League here in the UK.
“It’s fantastic that such a well-recognised brand will be supplying our players with the best equipment and we look forward to working with Steeden over the next three seasons.”
Betfred Super League CEO Robert Elstone added: “We are delighted to welcome Steeden as our Official Ball Supplier for the next few years. We would like to put on record our thanks to Rhino Rugby League and look forward to continuing to work with them.
“2019 will see a number of on field changes and we are looking forward to watching our players showcase their amazing skill levels for fans.”
Jon Clarke from Steeden commented: “We are delighted that the RFL and the Super League have decided to appoint Steeden as the official ball of Rugby League in the UK – something that fills us with great pride and honour.
“We pride ourselves on the performance of the Steeden ball and are thrilled to see the best rugby league players in the Northern Hemisphere using what is globally recognised as the best rugby league ball available.
“We look forward to ensuring Steeden balls are made available to all participants playing the game and fans alike as we anticipate replica and team supporter balls to hit retail shelves in the coming weeks.
“This partnership once again confirms Steeden’s position as the ball of choice for rugby league globally.”