The Nigeria Rugby League Association has become the first nation to benefit from the European Rugby League’s link up with Canterbury of New Zealand with the launch of their new kit.
It has been created by celebrity fashion designer, stylist and social activist Chief Ugo Mozie and his sister, contemporary African artist and energy healer, Adaobi Mozie, and is seen as uniting sport with popular culture.
Ugo Mozie said: “The opportunity to design the NRLA jersey is an honour and blessing. As a Nigerian-born and an American-raised creative, my dream has always been to be able to use my talent to create things that can show different sides of my country and highlight our incredibly rich history and present. I’m excited for the world to see my team soar to the top of the game in style.
“The aesthetic was inspired by our distinct ability to shape our future using the wisdom of our past and the radiant energy of our present. The Nsidibi symbols found on the shorts are an ancient and sacred writing system that was developed in South Eastern Nigeria several millennia ago. On the shorts you will see victory, strength, pride, and courage written in the language. The colours and design pattern represent the prosperous and united future of the people of Nigeria.”
NRLA vice chair and general manager, Ade Adebisi, commented: “We want to introduce a new audience to rugby league and fashion is a versatile tool to do so.
“When I reached out to Ugo, being such a visionary, he sought to make an impact with the kit by showcasing Nigeria and our rich heritage with authentic and contemporary designs. With the success of our last international outing, we know we're on the right course. We are very excited about the new kit and appreciate Canterbury joining us on this incredible journey."
Bolu Fagborun, NRLA head of performance, who undertook a key role in securing the partnership with Canterbury, added: “I think that the range of designs will create a buzz on and off the field to help capture the imagination of sporting audiences globally.”
UK, Europe and American residents can now pre-order the kits from Hardgear Ltd, and purchase directly from Lovell in October. Africa and Nigerian residents can also order from September with official retail partners LidStores