EY is pleased to announce its official sponsorship and support of Women's Rugby World Cup 2017. With this sponsorship, and as current sponsors of the British & Irish Lions 2017 tour of New Zealand, EY is continuing its commitment to developing purpose-driven leaders through high-performing teams to help build a better working world.

Over the past few years, women's rugby has enjoyed unprecedented growth and the inclusion of rugby sevens in the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 has helped establish the sport in new markets. Today, women's rugby is played by nearly 2.2 million women and girls in more than 110 countries.1

EY firms are working with external suppliers to recruit high-potential female athletes for professional roles, and to provide the necessary resources to help them transition from sport into business.

Nancy Altobello, EY Global Vice Chair of Talent, says:

"EY shares common values with rugby and has long been a proponent of the sport worldwide. The leadership skills, motivation and resilience developed through playing rugby are incredibly beneficial in a business environment. At EY we're thrilled to harness the leadership potential of elite female athletes and help them seamlessly transition to new careers in business."

EY has a long history of driving the global dialogue around the advancement of women athletes and harnessing the often untapped leadership potential of this talent pool. EY's Women Athletes Business Network (WABN), for example, was established to inform, empower and create an environment that supports elite female athletes, seeking to develop their leadership potential and transition from sport to careers in business.

Bill Beaumont, World Rugby Chairman, says:

"We are delighted to welcome EY as an official sponsor of Women's Rugby World Cup 2017. As the game grows across the world, it's important that we work with a brand that is the right fit and reflects the character-building values of our sport. This year's tournament promises to be the biggest and best yet and we look forward to working with EY toward further promotion and engagement within Ireland and around the world. As women's rugby goes from a grassroots level all the way to the top of the sport, it's exciting to have global organizations like EY realize the human capital potential of the players and the values they bring including team-work, tenacity, hard work and discipline."

The eighth Women's Rugby World Cup tournament will be held in Ireland in August 2017. The qualifying nations competing this year include Australia, Canada, England, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, USA and Wales.

Macron and the Italian Rugby Federation have signed an important agreement that ties them together for the next eight years. Thanks to this partnership, which involves the complete provision of the technical equipment for the Italian national teams, Macron further strengthens its standing in international rugby. In addition to announcing the agreement, the press conference was the perfect platform to unveil the new Home and Away jerseys of the national teams. Both jerseys have been praised for their strong design and technical characteristics.

A new format will see extended one-day event dedicated to the pro and community game

Rugby Ventures Ltd., the management team behind Rugby Expo, has confirmed Rugby Expo is returning for its second consecutive year to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Wednesday 8 November 2017.

A new format, designed to further support and engage those from the professional and community game, will see the conference and exhibition combined into one extended day, providing attendees with 12+ hours packed with high-level discussion and debate, interactive coaching content, partner events and a busy exhibition showcasing the latest rugby-focused products and services.

New for 2017, Rugby Expo will officially open on the evening of Tuesday 07 November, with an exclusive networking event for VIPs, sponsors, exhibitors, delegates, club & league representatives.

Following on from the success of previous years, Rugby Expo will once again be split in two parts; the morning/afternoon will be focused on the professional game, before attention switches to community club rugby, with this year's event running into the evening to support those attending from the grass roots game.

Rugby Expo 2017 will also have a greater focus on interactive content, with sessions offering expert opinion, practical demonstrations and take-home advice from a playing, coaching and technical perspective, to further engage with volunteers at the heart of the community game.

Last year's Rugby Expo welcomed more than 500 delegates including senior figures from many Premiership, Championship and Rugby League clubs, key decision makers from the sport's governing bodies, community club representatives, suppliers, brands and rights holders.

The event also cemented its reputation of addressing the key issues affecting both the professional and grass roots games, with speakers including Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis, Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty, former rugby league international Paul Sculthorpe and senior representatives from the RFU.

Commenting on today's announcement, John Hockey, chairman of Rugby Ventures, said: "We are delighted to confirm our return to the Ricoh for 2017 and to share our vision and plans for the new-look Rugby Expo.

"Now in its ninth year, the event is very well-established, but we are always looking at new ways in which to refresh and reshape our offering to further support and engage both sides of the game.

"We've listened to feedback from past attendees and key stakeholders to help form our plans for 2017 and the response so far has been very positive. The changes that we're implementing will not only support those attending from the community game, but will ensure that we continue to deliver the big names, hard-hitting content and unrivalled networking opportunities that Rugby Expo is known for."

To discuss sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities or to find out more about attending Rugby Expo 2017 as a delegate, contact the team on +44 (0) 843 289 0583 or e-mail Jenny Forbes, Head of Business Development, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

adidas has announced it is extending its commitment with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) in a move which will be celebrated across the game in New Zealand.

As Principal Partner, adidas has reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to all levels of rugby, making direct investments into the community game as well as support for our national teams.

This extension will continue the long-standing partnership through to 2023, marking an exceptional 24-year relationship that has been critical to the success of rugby and New Zealand's teams in black over the last quarter century.

The announcement of the new deal was made at today's launch of the All Blacks' new "special edition" jersey in Auckland, as excitement builds for the DHL New Zealand Lions Series.

Simon Cartwright, Senior Director at adidas Rugby, said adidas was thrilled to be announcing its commitment to New Zealand Rugby for another four years.

"It's an absolute honour and privilege to extend our relationship with New Zealand Rugby. Their dedication to delivering the best rugby players the world has ever seen is second-to-none and we're ecstatic to be working alongside them."

NZR CEO Steve Tew said they'd enjoyed "an exceptional and prosperous relationship" with adidas since the first deal was signed in 1999.

"We see adidas not just as a sponsor but a real partner in our game. In financial terms, this deal extends the most significant sponsorship deal in our history, and the importance of adidas's investment to all levels of our game shouldn't be underestimated," Tew said.

"The partnership helps ensure our game is healthy from the bottom up - from Small Blacks to All Blacks - with a portion of the income tagged to our community game. We are delighted that our Principal Partner will continue to work alongside us for the good of the game right through to 2023."

Under the deal with NZR:
• adidas holds the position as Principal Partner of New Zealand Rugby and Principal Sponsor of the All Blacks
• Supplies apparel, boots and equipment to all New Zealand's teams in black, including the All Blacks, Black Ferns, Black Ferns Sevens, All Blacks Sevens, Maori All Blacks, the New Zealand Under 20 and New Zealand Schools
• Helps fund community rugby activities across the country

RAM Hand-to-Hand Couriers has joined the SA Rugby family of partners as the official courier services supplier to SA Rugby and the Springboks, it was announced on Monday.
RAM and SA Rugby agreed a three-year partnership that will see the Johannesburg-based company ensure that rugby gets whatever it needs wherever it is.

Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, said he was delighted to add another new partner to the rugby family.

"It is always exciting to see a new company partnering with rugby and the Springboks, doubly so when they're a household name such as RAM," said Roux.

"People would be astonished to learn how much a fast-moving sports business like rugby needs to move urgent packages around the country and the world at the last minute and to have a partner with RAM's track record on board is very reassuring.

"They're in the delivery business and together we hope to deliver the right kind of results that South Africa expects this year."

David Lazarus, Joint Managing Director of RAM Hand-to-Hand Couriers said: "We're thrilled to have the opportunity to be associated with the SA Rugby and our Springboks.

About RAM Hand-to-and Couriers

RAM is the only South African courier that doesn't use subcontractors within the borders of South Africa and an unsurpassed track record of delivering securely, intact and on time.

With more than 40 hubs across Southern Africa, over 1 800 vehicles and a team of around 3000 trained personnel, RAM takes pride in assuring you that if you choose us as your courier partner, your package won't leave our hands until it's delivered safely.

Aside from reasons such as our modern fleet, state-of-the-art track and trace technology, cutting edge Handheld Device and sophisticated IT Platform as well as our ability to offer liability cover at favourable rates, there are softer issues that have led to our success – commitment and loyalty.

Website: www.ram.co.za
Facebook: Ram Hand-to-Hand Couriers
Twitter: @OfficialRAMsa

Southern Palace Group of Companies have signed on as an Associate Sponsor of the Springboks, SA Rugby announced on Friday.
In terms of the agreement, the SPG group will be entitled to have their company logo on the left panel of the Springboks' match day and training shorts.

SPG is a wholly black owned and South African managed diversified industrial holding company, established in 2002 with interests in numerous well-established businesses. Since then it has built up a track record of successful investment transactions.

SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, said SPG's associate sponsorship agreement for the national team is an indication of local companies' confidence in the Springbok brand.

"We are delighted that SPG has joined the national team as an Associate Sponsor as the Springboks stand at the beginning of a new journey under the captaincy of Warren Whiteley," said Roux.

"It is always exciting when a local, proudly South African company joins our proud family of sponsors. SA Rugby and the Springboks are looking forward to a successful partnership with the SPG group."

Lucas Tseki, Group Chief Executive, Southern Palace Group of Companies, said: "We are delighted to partner with SA Rugby, as our partnership will offer the Group a platform to collaborate with a well-established brand to nurture the company's young, innovative and dynamic brand into the South African and Global stage; and through our products and services we can offer SA Rugby a transformative edge off the field.

"Our slogan of driving tomorrow bodes well with the SA rugby team who are driving towards building a winning and world class rugby team on the field," added Tseki.

About the Southern Palace Group of Companies

As a wholly black owned and managed South African company, Southern Palace is a diversified industrial holding company with interests in numerous well-established businesses including steel products manufacturing and recycling, automotive trading and manufacturing, real estate, technology and telecommunications.

Southern Palace offers a solid foundation and years of wisdom, underpinned by unparalleled success in corporate financing and investing into new ventures. The unique differentiator of Southern Palace is its:

• Capacity and ability to transform investments;
• Active involvement and committing human capital to its investments;
• Long term investment focus;
• Integrated network and relationships to optimize value across the value chain.

Some of their past and present investments include Scaw Metals Group, MAN Truck and Bus Centurion, Altech Fleet call, Altech Alcom-Matomo, Altech Motorola Radio Distribution, Teljoy Business Systems, Canvas and Tents Manufacturing, Growthpoint Properties and Huawei Technologies Africa and recently Concor (formally known as the Murray & Roberts Infrastructure and construction platform).

The Varsity Match joins esteemed rugby company with its appointment of Rhino as Official Ball Partner and Official Training Equipment Partner, the trusted Official Supplier of the current British & Irish Lions for their 2017 tour of New Zealand in both of these product categories.

The partnership will see both Oxford and Cambridge use the highest-level Rhino training equipment for their match preparations throughout the season as well as Rhino becoming the official training and match ball for the iconic Varsity Match contests at Twickenham on Thursday 7th December 2017.

Representing a further extension of Rhino's current agreement with the annual Battle of the Blues, the partnership follows last month's announcement that Rhino Teamwear would be supplying on-field, training and leisurewear apparel to both clubs as well as on Varsity Match day for both the men's and women's teams. As part of the three-year agreement, Rhino will now also become an overall Official Partner of The Varsity Match.

Former Oxford Blue and Rhino Group CEO Reg Clark said: "Rhino is delighted to become an Official Partner of The Varsity Match – one of the game's great historic occasions, in an agreement which encompasses our full product offering – balls, training equipment, teamwear and apparel. We believe no other rugby brand in the world can offer this full range of products. We are also looking forward to working closely with both OURFC and CURUFC throughout the seasons, and to linking with as many college sides at the Universities as possible."

David Searle CEO of The Varsity Match Company said: "The Varsity Match is delighted to secure a further partnership agreement with Rhino – a brand synonymous with the highest levels of the game. They have a proven track record with the leading teams in world rugby and we are very excited Oxford University RFC and Cambridge University RUFC will benefit further from their equipment quality and expertise."

The Varsity Match joins a star-studded stable of global rugby brands to be supplied equipment, rugby balls and teamwear by Rhino.

Rhino's partners include The British & Irish Lions (balls and equipment), England Rugby (equipment), Welsh Rugby Union (equipment), RBS 6 Nations (leisurewear), Rugby Europe (balls). For more information visit The Locker Room at RHINO.DIRECT

The 31st Women's Varsity Match and 136th Men's Varsity Match is set to take place at the home of England Rugby, Twickenham Stadium, on Thursday 7 December 2017, with tickets pre-sale set to go on sale soon at www.thevarsitymatch.com.

World Rugby and Mastercard have announced that the global payments leader has renewed as a Worldwide Partner for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

Mastercard, who delivered and celebrated priceless experiences for a record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2015 in England, are partnering with rugby's showcase event for the third successive time and will again be the Preferred Card and Digital Wallet for Japan 2019.

With the pools confirmed and fans around the world starting to plan their Rugby World Cup 2019 journey, Mastercard will again create priceless experiences for its cardholders and fans, building excitement in advance of an event that will see the sport break new ground in Asia. The payment leader will also be supporting the tournament's ticketing programme.

The announcement completes the inventory of six Worldwide Partners, which has been delivered in record time and with record value, underscoring Rugby World Cup's strong global commercial appeal as teams and fans prepare for the first Rugby World Cup in Asia.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "Rugby World Cup 2019 is set to be a very special and ground-breaking event that will reach beyond our traditional audiences to inspire and attract new fans and participants, and our Worldwide Partners are at the heart of the story.

"We are delighted to be renewing our highly-successful relationship with Mastercard and look forward to generating many unforgettable experiences and moments for rugby fans worldwide. We know that Mastercard will make it priceless.

"Significantly, the inventory of Worldwide Partners has been secured in record time and with record value, which speaks volumes about the global prestige of the tournament as we accelerate towards the exciting prospect of a first Rugby World Cup in Asia and ensures a strong platform for the continued global development of the game."

Mastercard Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Raja Rajamannar added: "This ground-breaking event is a fantastic opportunity for us to engage cardholders and enable them to experience the energy of rugby in ways we have not yet imagined. In 2015, we had a blast turning the world oval and are thrilled to be back again for Rugby World Cup 2019."

As part of the agreement, Mastercard will look to package 'Priceless' access and experiences such as man of the match, helping fans to get closer to the tournament and the athletes they love. Mastercard will also provide an exclusive incentive for cardholders to use their Mastercard when purchasing Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets.

Mastercard completes the line-up of six Worldwide Partners: Emirates, Heineken, Land Rover, Société Générale and DHL and Canon as an Official Sponsor with attention now turning to the sponsor category, where interest is extremely high.

To find out more about Rugby World Cup 2019 and to receive advance notice of special ticketing and merchandise information, Join the Front Row today at www.rugbyworldcup.com/supporters.

Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) is pleased to announce KFC as the Official Quick Service Restaurant of this year's tournament.

As an Official Partner of the RLWC2017, KFC will receive integration through key assets including brand messaging via the video referee board during try referrals and virtual on field signage at matches played in Australia and New Zealand.

The RLWC2017 and KFC are also working together on a number of fan engagement initiatives and activations to be rolled out during the five-week tournament.

Andrew Hill, RLWC2017 Chief Executive Officer said: "We are delighted to welcome KFC, one of the world's most recognizable brands, as the Official Quick Service Restaurant of the Rugby League World Cup 2017.


"KFC joins an extensive lineup of commercial partners who are all committed to working together to ensure that we deliver the best ever Rugby League World Cup to existing and new supporters of International Rugby League."


"This association is a natural extension of our partnership with the NRL and the rugby league community across both Australia and New Zealand."

The RLWC2017 will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand with three pool matches in Papua New Guinea from 27 October – 2 December 2017 and features 14 teams, contesting 28 games, in 13 cities. The tournament will be the biggest event in the region during 2017, with an estimated event record of 450,000 fans expected to attend the RLWC2017.

Tournament tickets and information at RLWC2017.com

Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) is pleased to announce Lion as the Official Beer Partner of the tournament in both Australia and New Zealand, with their flagship brand, XXXX GOLD, to be known as the Official Beer of the RLWC2017.

XXXX GOLD and other Lion products will be available in hospitality suites and functions at all RLWC2017 fixtures played across the co-hosts, plus official events held throughout the five-week tournament period.

This partnership will also see XXXX GOLD conduct consumer promotions through their on premise network across Australia, giving rugby league fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to 'Toss the Coin' with team captains before key RLWC2017 matches. This partnership does not include naming rights on any jerseys or attire.

Andrew Hill, RLWC2017 CEO said: "Lion has been long-time supporters of rugby league in both Australia and New Zealand at all levels of the sport, and we are pleased to welcome them as the Official Beer Partner of this year's Rugby League World Cup."

"We look forward to working with Lion to deliver the best ever Rugby League World Cup."

Matthew Windsor, Lion Customer Director for On Premise, is thrilled about the partnership saying: "We are really excited to bring the number one mid strength beer in Australia to adult Rugby League World Cup fans. Mid strength beers are a popular fixture in venues across both Australia and New Zealand, and Lion are proud to bring XXXX GOLD to rugby league fans to enjoy responsibly."

The RLWC2017 will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand with three pool matches in Papua New Guinea from 27 October – 2 December 2017 and features 14 teams, contesting 28 games, in 13 cities. The tournament will be the biggest event in the region during 2017, with an estimated event record of 450,000 fans expected to attend the RLWC2017.

Tournament tickets and information at RLWC2017.com