The shirt off their backs – Puma and Ireland to part company

German apparel giant Puma have decided to part company with their their biggest client in the world of Rugby Union, announcing that their deal with Irish Rugby will come to an end following the conclusion of the 2013/14 season.

Puma, who have spread their attentions across a vast array of sports ranging from traditional markets like football to more diverse arenas such as athletics and motor racing, are looking to decrese their exposure in less lucrative areas, one of which appears to be Rugby.

The move is part of the biggest reorganisation of the company in 20 years, and also sees Chief Execute Franz Koch set to depart in March.

There will no doubt be plenty of interest in the contract with the IRFU ahead of the 2015 World Cup, with CCC, who have just announced a parting of the ways from Scottish Rugby, a possible candidate to resume manufacturing the emerald green shirts. There are also a number of innovative European-based companies looking to establish themselves in the Rugby Union marketplace at the moment, including Swiss company Burrda and Italian organisation Macron.