• SIRIUS is the seventh-generation of Gilbert's Rugby World Cup match ball
  • SIRIUS takes its name from the Sirius star, the seventh-closest star to the Earth
  • Innovative technology delivered enhanced grip and water-dispersion
  • All teams to have extensive time with the ball before the tournament

Innovation and performance are at the heart of SIRIUS, the official Rugby World Cup 2019 match ball launched by tournament supplier Gilbert in Japan today.

Unveiled with exactly one year to go until the Rugby World Cup 2019 final, SIRIUS will make its debut in Saturday’s Japan versus New Zealand test in Tokyo, a match which sees the hosts take on the defending champions in a much-anticipated encounter. 

The ball will also be used in test matches featuring all Rugby World Cup 2019 teams – where Gilbert balls are used – between now and the tournament, meaning the world’s best players will have plenty of competition time with the ball in advance of rugby’s showcase event.

SIRIUS is the latest in a succession of balls stretching back to 1995 to be engineered by industry-leaders Gilbert specifically for Rugby World Cups and is packed with innovation. It is also the most-tested Gilbert ball in history.

Manufactured using the latest technology to promote the highest levels of consistency and performance, SIRIUS is an evolution of the successful Rugby World Cup 2015 MATCH XV ball, featuring a new grip pattern to enhance handling without compromising subtlety or durability. The surface design has also been improved to enable quicker water dispersion. 

The SIRIUS match ball takes its name from the Sirius star, the brightest star in the night sky, and shares important characteristics with its namesake:

  • Sirius is the seventh-closest star to the Earth and SIRIUS is the seventh generation of Gilbert's Rugby World Cup match ball
  • Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky, visible from both hemispheres, while SIRIUS symbolises teams from both hemispheres competing for rugby’s biggest prize
  • Sirius is actually two stars and SIRIUS comprises two star-shaped pimples of different heights that aid grip and water-dispersion

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “From community clubs to test matches, Gilbert is a key player in rugby participation, enjoyment, competition and growth. 

“The Rugby World Cup 2019 SIRIUS ball represents the forefront of ball technology and evolution and we are delighted to be launching a match ball that looks great and will advance performance for players in Japan next year.“By launching now, we are ensuring that the teams have the best-possible access to SIRIUS before Rugby World Cup 2019.”

Gilbert Rugby International Sales and Marketing Director Richard Gray added: “We are extremely proud of our long-standing partnership with Rugby World Cup. It provides us with the perfect platform to introduce another innovative, yet evolved match ball to the rugby world. We are confident that the new SIRIUS match ball will allow the world’s best players to perform to their full potential and light up Rugby World Cup in Japan.

“It is our constant research, development and relentless drive to produce the best and most innovative products for rugby that sets Gilbert aside as the ball of choice for the world’s elite.”

Replica match balls are available now via the official online store.

Fans can now apply for Rugby World Cup 2019 match tickets and purchase official supporter tours and hospitality via the official ticketing site at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets.