Rugby retailer set for exciting new venture

Mark Donnelly and Neil Farrimond of
Mark Donnelly and Neil Farrimond of

THE UK’S leading dedicated rugby league retailer is on the move to a bigger and brighter store in Wigan town centre.

Down Under Leisure stocks a huge range of rugby league gear, ranging from kicking tees to the latest NRL kits from Australia.

From humble beginnings, the company has enjoyed more than two decades of success, building a loyal customer base from its popular Gidlow Lane site.

They also capitalised on the growing online market, attracting customers from all over the world.

Famous customers include former players such as Paul Sculthorpe and Sean Long plus Sir Bradley Wiggins who is a regular, picking up gear for his rugby mad son.

The company was founded by director Neil Farrimond who started off selling Australian club replica shirts from his bedroom.

As the business grew, he was joined by director Mark Donnelly and the pair identified the need for a retail outlet and of course rugby-league mad Wigan was the perfect location.

In addition to replica shirts, the company started to stock entire ranges of training gear and the UK market rushed to pick up the eye-catching gear.

The new, bright and spacious two-floor store in Makinson Arcade is in the heart of the town centre.

Mark said: “We have great memories of the Gidlow Lane store which will become our office.

“But we were limited in what we could do. The new store means we can stock many new lines and make it an even better experience for our customers.”

“The popularity of the NRL has never been higher in the UK. With English players like Sam Tomkins and James Graham in the spotlight, fans in this country love following the sport Down Under.

“Stars from Australia are stars here too – players like Johnathon Thurston, Greg Inglis and Billy Slater are household names.

“Thousands of rugby league fans subscribe to Premier Sports, a channel which shows every game from the NRL.

“When Wigan played the Sydney Roosters in last year’s World Club Challenge we had Warriors fans coming back to us buying the merchandise here because it was cheaper than in Australia. There’s massive interest in the NRL.”

The new store opens on Saturday, September 19.