Doncaster-based sports firm favoured by HRH Prince Harry and led by top rugby professionals continues to grow

Tony Miller
Tony Miller

A South Yorkshire sports brand is celebrating its best year to date having only relocated to the UK three years ago.

XBlades, originally established in Australia in 1989, specialises in manufacturing and selling sports equipment.

It already works with some of the biggest names in rugby including Jonny May, Richard Hibbard, Gavin Henson and even HRH Prince Harry has tried some boots on for size.

The company, based in Bentley, Doncaster, is headed up by a team of rugby professionals, which includes retired England World Cup winner Jason Robinson OBE, former Doncaster Rugby Club owner Shane Miller and ex-player and coach Tony Miller. The firm has doubled turnover every year since bringing the sports brand to the UK in 2012.

Shane Miller, managing director, said: “Although XBlades was established over 25 years ago in Australia, we only launched in the UK just over three years ago and, at that point in time, we could never have imagined the success we would be celebrating today.”

XBlades has seen significant growth, from a £100,000 turnover to its current 2015 year end target of £2.5million. By 2020 the company hopes to be operating with a £10million turnover and current forecasts see it exceeding that target.

2015 has proven to be the best year to date for the XBlades team having just successfully launched a six figure kit deal with Rugby Union giants Gloucester Rugby - designing and manufacturing the clubs home, away and European kits.

The partnership, which is set to span a six year period, has also seen the creation of a megastore in the Gloucester Quays and revamped online store - making it easier for fans to purchase shirts and other merchandise, while a second outlet will open shortly.

Early figures for Gloucester Rugby show that in the first month, XBlades trebled the previous four years turnover and this month’s figures already show this figure has been trebled. Following on from the Gloucester contract, the XBlades team has recently created a new partnership with international brand Superdry to produce a rugby fashion range. In addition, XBlades has created partnerships with other clubs including Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos.