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A new star is born

Introducing Gilbert Rugby’s latest innovation

Innovation and performance are at the heart of the SIRIUS match ball, the official Rugby World Cup 2019 match ball.

On 2nd November 2018 Gilbert Rugby officially launch the new SIRIUS match ball ahead of the final round of 2018 International tour matches. Two years in the making, the SIRIUS match ball is an evolution in match ball technology. The 7th edition Gilbert Rugby World Cup match ball, SIRIUS takes many of the popular and successful characteristics of the current Match-XV international match ball, with key developments focused on increased handling. Step changes in the design of the grip pattern mean the SIRIUS offers the largest total surface area of any international match ball produced to date. These precision improvements create an exceptional rugby ball with greatly enhanced handling properties, yet one which is still familiar to the players.

To produce the Sirius Match ball, Gilbert have developed new and innovative manufacturing technology to ensure consistent and precision placement of its highly defined, and patented, dual-height star shaped pimples; replicated consistently and in detail on every match ball


The improved precision pimple pattern includes two highly defined star shaped pimples, of different heights.

  • SIRIUS is the brightest star in the night sky, visible by the naked eye from both the Southern and Northern hemispheres; representing the coming together of the world’s best rugby players from all over the globe.
  • What the naked eye perceives as a single star is actually a binary star system consisting of a main-sequence star, Sirius A, and a faint dwarf companion, Sirius B; representing the improved dual-height precision star shaped pimple pattern.
  • Sirius is reported to be the 7th closest star to Earth; the Sirius match ball will be Gilbert’s 7th iteration of a RWC match ball.

 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.”

 Gilbert Rugby International Sales and Marketing Director Richard Gray added: “We are extremely proud of our longstanding 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 the 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.”

SIRIUS is the Official match ball of Rugby World Cup 2019 and will be used in every match of the tournament.

All Tier 1 International teams (using Gilbert rugby balls) from November 2018 onwards will use the SIRIUS match ball.

Official Gilbert Rugby World Cup 2019 SIRIUS match balls will be available online from 1st December; Official RWC 2019 replica match balls are available now.


The SIRIUS is the 7th version of Gilbert Rugby balls to be specifically engineered for Rugby World Cup.

Previous Gilbert balls; the Gilbert Barbarian (RWC 1995), Gilbert Revolution (RWC 1999), Gilbert Xact (RWC 2003), the Gilbert Synergie (RWC 2007), the Gilbert Virtuo (2011) and the Match-XV (RWC 2015) have all played their part in the development of the SIRIUS.

What is new

 External Pimple Pattern

The SIRIUS match ball exhibits a sharper pimple which provides greater grip and control, especially in wet conditions. The improvements have been made on a microscopic level to increase both the definition and surface area of each pimple, whilst maintaining the durability and aerodynamic characteristics of the current MATCH-XV.

What is retained.

 Bladder and Valve

The SIRIUS match ball has the same bladder and valve as the MATCH-XV. As with the MATCH-XV, the SIRIUS match ball should be inflated to 9.5 psi.

 Surface Compound

The SIRIUS match ball has the same surface compound as the MATCH-XV, which has been retained for its soft feel and water repellent properties.


The SIRIUS match ball weighs the same as the MATCH-XV – to maintain strike properties.


The SIRIUS match ball is cut from the same punching knives as the MATCH-XV – providing a familiar shape.

For any further information on the SIRIUS match ball, please contact:

Andrew Challis, Gilbert Brand Manager.                    Ian Savage, Gilbert Ball Engineer. or 01580 880357.  or 01580 880357.


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