The new black Wales ‘away’ jersey will be unveiled to fans at the Millennium Stadium next Saturday, when it is worn for the international against England (13 August, kick-off 2.30pm).
Tens of thousands of supporters will be able to see Warren Gatland’s players in the new strip ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup tournament in New Zealand.
Wales will revert back to their familiar red jersey for the final summer warm-up send-off international against Argentina on Saturday 20 August, before the squad leave for the World Cup, where the black kit will feature in at least one of Wales’ Pool games.
The decision to wear the black strip against England in Cardiff means the players will depart Wales having worn all their newly launched jerseys in major internationals.
It follows the pattern of wearing a change strip at home set by England, when their players wear their black jerseys to face Wales at Twickenham this afternoon.
The new Wales away kit is predominantly black with red flashes while the red home kit is worn with white shorts and white flashes on the shirt and socks.
Kit manufacturers Under Armour have patented a new military grade fabric which includes AmourGrid and ArmourGrip technology.
The gear is said to be the most technologically advanced on the market and is designed to give Wales’ rugby stars every edge possible at RWC time.
For the first time the new RWC kit from the WRU will be worn beyond the tournament, without the RWC logo, and into the following two seasons, giving it the longest shelf-life and greatest value of any previous kit of its kind.
WRU Group Head of Commercial, Craig Maxwell, said: “We will now wear both the red and the black jerseys for home internationals this summer so the Welsh fans will get to see all the Rugby World Cup kit on the players.
“We are proud of both our home and away jerseys and the boys have had a lot of input into the design, the look and the technology involved.
“There is going to be a big crowd in the stadium for the England game and the supporters will have a great opportunity to see the new kit in action close up.
“The fans are very important to the team and I know the squad will take away some powerful and enriching memories from the support they get in these warm up fixtures.”
Wales wore black jerseys as part of celebrations for the WRU's 125th anniversary in 2005. The jersey was worn against Fiji (11-10) and then Australia (24-22) that year; the Australia match was the first time Wales had not played in red against one of their traditional rivals.
The first time Wales played in any colour other than red in a capped international match was in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 1987, when they wore green jerseys in the victory over Tonga in Palmerston North.
Wales have played in many change shirts in their 125 year history, including white, green, grey, gold, ecru and black, but to date, of the International Rugby Board's other foundation Unions – Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland and France – Wales have only faced the Wallabies wearing any colour other than red.


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