Budgy Smugglers have become collectors’ items. It is being called the Mike Tindall Factor.
Ahead of the Guinness Six Nations which starts this week, England’s rugby players have been enjoying the support of a leading Australian swimwear brand.
Samuel Gulliver & Co, the official whisky of England Rugby has partnered with on-trend Aussie company Budgy Smuggler to create a collaborative limited edition range based on England’s No.6 single malt whisky. As well as bespoke sports underwear and playful jocks, bikinis and hats are also available.
Stuart Gulliver, Director of Samuel Gulliver & Co, says:
“Budgy Smugglers are a must for any self-respecting rugby player to keep their tackle safe in the tackle! Budgy’s have been brought to a wider audience with Mike Tindall sporting a pair in the jungle.
“My pair of extra large’s are on order and I know my wife is looking forward with eager anticipation to me sporting them in the comfort of our own bedroom.”
England’s No. 6 single malt whisky is aged for 6 years and finished in ex-rum casks. It pays tribute to ‘the finest number sixes’ to have pulled on the famous white, red rose jersey.
20 percent of the price of every pair of bespoke No 6 Budgy Smugglers purchased goes directly to the RFU Injured Players Foundation (IPF) which supports rugby players who experience a life changing injury.
The Foundation provides support and information to rugby players in England who have sustained a catastrophic spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury while playing the game and helps prevent future injuries through research and education.
John Larkin, England Rugby fundraising and charity manager adds:
“The support of the rugby family we continue to help rugby players who sustain life changing injuries. Whether professionals or grass roots players the RFU Injured Players Foundation will be there from the time of injury and if needed, for the rest of their lives.”
Budgy Smuggler was founded ‘as a laugh between mates in their backyard’ in 2006. The brand has become now ‘a key part of the game day kit and unsung hero of world rugby.
England Rugby’s Jack Nowell comments:
“Budgy Smuggler has given me the security downstairs to make my career upstairs.”
While Wallaby Tatafu Polata-Nau says:
“They offer me a new level of support while scrummaging.”
The line is now sold out although it might be brought back. Otherwise you’ll have to look on E-Nat or the black market. Or drown your sorrows with rugby’s other collaborators.
Banbury-based Samuel Gulliver was a distiller, rectifier and compounder. He founded his business in 1747. It was revived by Justim Hortsman and Stuart Gulliver, a ninth-generation descendant, in 2019.
In December 2021, the Rugby Football Union appointed English brand Samuel Gulliver & Co as the official whisky of English Rugby. Distilled at the St George’s Distillery in Norfolk., it celebrates English No 6s like Mickey Skinner and Richard Hill.
The Cotswolds company’s latest single malt is its 47 PX Sherry Cask, distilled at The St. George’s Distillery in Norfolk and finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry Casks sourced from Spain.
Guinness, Dove Men+Care, Gulliver’s and Budgy Smuggler are not the only companies lending support to rugby.
Pro 14 Rugby has a three-year partnership with whisky producer Loch Lomond. The Scottish RFU’s other partners and sponsors include Tennent’s Lager and A.G.Barr , makers of the iconic Irn-Bru. Ireland are fuelled by Lucozade and Ballygowan spring water. England are also sponsored by Bollinger.
Budgy Smuggler was founded in Manly and is based in Sydney. It also makes bucket and beanie hats and has a kids and the Smugglettes women’s range. You can also get Budgy Smuggler party shirts, briefs and socks as well as beachwear.
The most popular models of Budgy Smugglers include Cool Bananas, Chili Willies, Coco Nuts, Pink Pineapples, Bondi Bay Club Almond Croissant, Rubber Ducks and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Budgy. At present, there are no plans for an “acorn” pattern.
Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His humour, travel, food and drink work appears worldwide and he has been published in over 800 titles.
Photographs courtesy of Samuel Gulliver & Co