Posted on September 08 2008
Rhino Rugby recently announced a two year deal to be Official Supplier of training equipment to Rugby League Challenge Cup winners St Helens. The deal was celebrated by both parties at the Super League decider against Wigan at Knowsley Road, played five days after the Saints clinched the Challenge Cup against Hull. The sides fought a highly entertaining and ferocious 16 all draw enabling St Helens to take the League Leaders trophy for the fourth consecutive year. Historically, due to Rhino's previous location in Devon and that fact that its signature product was and is the scrummaging machine, rugby league has not been natural territory for the company. The new management of Rhino following the management buy-in in 2006 and relocation of the business to West London, however, set its sights on making this strategic breakthrough both in the area of training equipment (and in particular contact suits, tackle bags and hit shields, which translate perfectly well into league) and via its Rhino Pure Rugby brand in playing kit, protective equipment and apparel. This was a major factor in the recruitment of former Bradford Bulls’ player and Chief Executive and GB Team Manager, Abi Ekoku, as a Director of Rhino and former Widnes and GB rugby league international Jason Critchley as Head of Sales for Rhino Pure Rugby. Abi Ekoku comments: "The St Helens deal is the exactly the kind of breakthrough we have been looking for into the league code. We couldn't ask for a better partner for our signature deal and are determined to build on this to increase our coverage of the game at all levels, and to take our relationship with Saints further in future." Saints Chief Executive, Tony Colquitt, added: "We are delighted to form this partnership with Rhino. The deal is a first in Rugby League and it will allow the Saints to continue to seek perfection in all our training, preparation and planning. Rhino are a proactive leading company and we are already in discussions with them with regards to League specific designs and equipment." Pictured at Knowsley Road following the game between Saints and Wigan, holding the Rugby League Challenge Cup are Rhino Chief Executive Reg Clark and St Helens Chief Executive Tony Colquitt - Rhino Pure Rugby Director Wayne Mumford holds the League Leaders Trophy. Also pictured left to right are Rhino's Abi Ekoku, Steve Chapman, Jason Critchley and Rob Glenister.