Kit manufacturer Canterbury of New Zealand has apologised for their "error" in using an image of a model rather than a player for the launch of the new Ireland Women's rugby jersey. 

The official jersey supplier for Irish rugby has launched a design specifically for the team for the first time - previously, the jersey was the same design as male underage shirts, with "women" stitched under the crest – but has been criticised for imagery used for the jersey which became available to pre-order last week. 

The kit supplier issued a statement today, apologising for the upset caused. 

The statement in full reads: 

"As a brand, we believe in putting our hands up if we get something wrong. To announce that our new Ireland Women’s pro jersey was available for pre-order, we super-imposed the jersey’s image onto a model to share this exciting development with our dedicated female players and fans. 

"It was always, and remains, our intention to photograph female players in the new jersey and we remain committed to supporting the talented women in our rugby community on and off the field. While the image was primarily designed for our website, which also features male models, it has understandably caused frustration. We accept this was an error and apologise for any upset caused. 

"At Canterbury we believe that rugby is for everyone and we’re united by our mutual love of the game. We look forward to sharing our 'A New Horizon’ campaign to support the launch of our Ireland Women’s Pro jersey in October, with the same commitment and dedication that we have for all our teams." 

Fans pointed out the discrepancy in using members of the men's team to market their jersey, while models, rather than players, were pictured for launch of the women's kit.