THE multi-million pound deal between Macron and the Scottish Rugby Union, to supply the kit for every team the governing body runs, has been extended to at least 2026, making it the second longest in the union's history.

Macron, who have been involved with the SRU since 2011 and have been the sole supplier since 2013, will continue to supply all the kit to all the teams, including the new Rugby World Cup strip that will be launched on Friday, in a deal reckoned to be worth a seven-figure sum to the union each year.

The deal also adds a layer of certainty to the union's finances as it juggles a future that could include stakes in both the Six Nations and the Guinness PRO14 being sold to a hedge fund, CVC, a move that would bring in outside investment but at the cost of losing some control over decisions such as the broadcast rights and whether the Six Nations remains on free-to-air television.

"We [the SRU] have been speaking about the importance of external investment for a while now, we went to an SGM a couple of years ago to get support for working in partnership with other people to develop the sport," said Dominic McKay, the chief operating officer. "It is not a surprise there is interest around a whole series of rugby properties.


READ MORE: Edinburgh back Magnus Bradbury shuns holiday to focus on Rugby World Cup dream

"We are pleased with the progress that has been made but we are still governing bodies and have responsibilities to balance the commercial challenges of running the sport along with having an empathy to develop the sport.

"When we do any partnership, there is a balance between commerce and inspiring the next generation. We need to make sure the keep the lights on while investing in all the programmes we want to do. While the sport is growing it is a hungry sport and needs to be invested in."

The Macron deal will see the Italian sportswear company continue to supply kit to all the SRU teams, including both the men's and women's Test sides, Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh pro teams, the referees, the sevens sides and age-grade teams. They will also continue to run the shop at BT Murrayfield as well as the SRU online store.

By the time this deal ends, the union and company will have been together for 13 years – 15 if you include the two years Macron were kit suppliers to Edinburgh alone – still behind the Famous Grouse sponsorship that ran from 1990 to 2007.