TROPICAL 7s is a new tournament created to satisfy the growing demand for high-level and internationally focused Olympic rugby at the youth level.

The event is held annually each Easter, with the first edition to take place on 14/15 April 2017 under the warm sunshine in Orlando, Florida USA – right in the heart of Florida’s world-class tourist attractions.

While positioned to attract the world's elite youth teams, the competition is open to all teams of various skill levels for boys and girls sides at u-18, u-16, u-14, and university levels.

TROPICAL 7s Executive Director, John Siner, said today, “We are excited to be here in the UK at Rugby Expo to announce that our tournament is open. We are inviting youth and university teams from around the world to join us in the tropics of Florida for some great rugby competition. Teams will love the guaranteed sunny weather and pristine grass pitches alongside a top tourism experience.”

The tournament takes place at the stunning Omni Orlando Championsgate Resort, which features an on-site sport facility and professionally maintained fields that ensure top playing conditions for competitive rugby. 

 “Rugby 7s is exploding globally and there aren’t enough youth events to meet the demand for international competition,” Siner continued. “TROPICAL 7s combines great rugby conditions, with good competition, at a world-class resort, right in the heart of Orlando’s amazing attractions.”

“It’s far more than a 2-day tournament, as we invite teams to come in early to organise training camps and scrimmages. We will have Tier 1 International coaches available for training sessions, along with a referee programme, player skills challenge, and a coach education session. We really want to create the perfect environment for teams and the development of the sport.”

“All the key information is found on our website and we invite teams and coaches to discover out all that we have on offer. We will have a further announcement in the coming days about the teams that have committed to come play.”

More information on Tropical 7s event and how to register is found on the website www.tropical7s.com.

Multi-award winning sponsorship to continue until 2021
O2 and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) today announced that they have extended their partnership through to September 2021. A proud partner for 21 years, O2 has been at the heart of England Rugby since the game turned professional in 1995, making it one of the longest standing sports sponsorships globally.

LTR: Ian Ritchie; Eddie Jones; Nina Bibby, Chief Marketing Officer, O2; Mark Evans, CEO, O2

The five season extension secures O2 as a principal partner of England Ruby and the lead partner for the England Senior Men's, England Women and England Saxons teams. O2's logo will continue on both match and training kit worn by players, coaching and support staff, as well as replica kit for fans. O2 will also remain the exclusive telecommunications and wifi provider to England Rugby.
The multi-year deal will see O2 and England Rugby work together to explore how digital technology will increasingly play a role in the fan experience, with the ambition of creating more integrated, connected and personalised experiences direct to fans' mobile devices. This will include a renewed focus on using digital technology to bring rugby fans closer to the team, in the run up to and during match days, evolved LED stadium display presence at Twickenham Stadium and by supercharging O2's highly successful Priority platform.
O2 and England Rugby will also work to together to produce exclusive pre-match video content available through the Priority app 48-hours before anywhere else, and all behind the scenes in camp digital content, plus key match day digital content, will now be part of O2's behind the scenes online series, O2 Inside Line. O2 customers will continue to benefit from access to Priority Tickets for all England matches at Twickenham Stadium and Priority will host even more unique and exclusive opportunities than ever before including, once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as going on the summer Test series with the England Rugby team.
O2 has also reaffirmed its commitment to grassroots rugby, specifically O2 Touch, which is the fastest growing community programme in the country with 17,500 registered players. In addition, the RFU will offer work experience to young people to support O2's Think Big initiative.
O2's award-winning 'Wear the Rose' campaign will become even more central to its support of England match days, encouraging fans to get behind the team by showing their support both physically and digitally.
O2 CEO Mark Evans commented, "O2 has been a proud partner of England Rugby for over two decades and we're delighted to be continuing our longstanding and successful support. This new agreement is a testament to our sponsorship strategy, focussing on high quality, long term partnerships. Rugby is in O2's DNA and we're excited to take this fantastic sport to even more people than ever before, from grassroots to elite. We will continue to passionately support the team through Wear the Rose with a commitment to using technology and connectivity to bring our customers and rugby fans across the country even closer to the action."
RFU CEO Ian Ritchie said; "We're proud to have such a strong partnership with O2. Over the last twenty-one years they have supported all aspects of rugby with a wide range of exciting and innovative campaigns. From grassroots programmes including O2 Touch to the elite end of the game with Wear the Rose. We look forward to the next chapter of working together."
Visit www.o2.co.uk/weartherose to find out more about O2 and England Rugby or follow @O2sports on Twitter and Instagram using the hash tag #WearTheRose
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All O2 news release can be accessed at our website: www.o2.co.uk/news

Notes to editors
The RFU Rose and the words England Rugby are official registered trademarks of the Rugby Football Union
About O2
O2 is the commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited and is a leading digital communications company with the highest customer satisfaction for any mobile provider according to Ofcom. With over 25 million customers, O2 runs 2G, 3G and 4G networks across the UK, as well as operating O2 Wifi and owning half of Tesco Mobile. O2 has over 450 retail stores and sponsors The O2, O2 Academy venues and the England rugby team. Read more about O2 at www.o2.co.uk/news.

Rugby Expo is back for 2016 at its new home of the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. With just two weeks left until the event opens its doors to the business world of rugby, now is your last chance to secure one of the few remaining exhibition stands still available for the event.

Here are just some of the exhibitors you can meet during the two days, which will also host a packed conference programme addressing the topical issues affecting professional and grass roots rugby:

Tickets.com
Tickets.com is an industry leading ticketing and marketing solutions provider to sports, entertainment, arts and visitor attraction venues worldwide. Tickets.com’s products and services are specifically designed to address a venue’s current and evolving requirements, enabling clients to capture, access and manage consumer data through ticketing enquiries and sales. Combining customer-centric ticketing technology and industry-recognised support, Tickets.com delivers best-in-quality ticketing technology alongside unsurpassed levels of customer service; Its ProVenue® suite of products is the latest and most advanced customer-centric ticketing platform that puts users in complete control of their ticketing operation.

For more information visit uk.provenue.com

Technogym
Technogym specialises in athlete performance development, injury prevention and rehabilitation. Two decades’ experience as official fitness equipment supplier to the Olympic and Paralympic summer games, plus our research and development work, helps us create new products and solutions for all people to achieve their wellness goals. We can help you monitor athlete fitness levels and capacity in an even more efficient way, thanks to machines compatible with electrocardiograph and metabograph gas analysers, software programmes and specific test protocols. This constant control enables athletes to avoid injuries, diseases and heart-related problems.

For more information visit www.technogym.com

SeatServe
SeatServe enables fans to order food, drinks & merchandise from their smartphone & have it delivered to their seat by existing concessions, at any venue. By not having to join pre-game & HT queues, fans receive a markedly improved match day experience, which is likely to bring them back more often. With minimal operational disruption, we can also help you up-sell in real time based on the weather or score, ahead of monetising the data generated thereafter. SeatServe integrates into all other digital platforms & arguably represents the most tangible return on the investments being made in WiFi.

For more information visit www.seatserve.co.uk

Robbin Sports
With 40 years’ experience in manufacturing both sports and architectural metal products to schools, colleges, universities and sporting academies within the South West of England, Robbin is ideally situated geographically and commercially to extend its long history of service and quality products direct to all sporting organisations via Robbin. Manufacturing from our 38,000 sq ft production facility in the South West, Robbin was founded through the demand for rugby posts for our local teams. Our passion for Sport and 40 years of commitment to design, engineering and service, has led to the creation of Robbin Sports.

For more information visit www.robbinsports.co.uk

Contego Sports
N-Pro by Contego Sports is a rugby head guard scientifically proven to provide impact protection. N-Pro may look like other rugby headgear, but it performs much differently. Utilising our cutting edge defentex™, impact management technology, N-Pro is designed to reduce the G-Force energy transferred to a player’s head during impact, one of the major factors in sports-induced brain injury. Current headguards are designed to prevent cuts, abrasions and “cauliflower” ears. They only provide minimal impact protection. The N-Pro head guard manages G-Force impact energy, through its multi-layer construction without compromising comfort and fit. Our next generation head guard is also the first sports head guard on the market to be a CE marked Medical Device.

For more information visit www.n-pro.com

Retail & Sports Systems Ltd
Retail & Sports Systems Ltd specialise in fully integrated retail systems created specifically for the sports industry. Our modules include point of sale, eCommerce, stock control, purchase ordering, wholesale, executive box shopping and reporting. The R&SS system has been proven to increase sales whilst reducing costs, and is currently installed in three rugby clubs and sixteen football clubs with more joining year on year. Service is a major priority and as a result we have never lost a customer to a competitor.

For more information visit www.retailsportssystems.co.uk

Rugby Expo is back for 2016 at its new home of the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. With just two weeks left until the event opens its doors to the business world of rugby, now is your last chance to secure one of the few remaining exhibition stands still available for the event.

Here are just some of the exhibitors you can meet during the two days, which will also host a packed conference programme addressing the topical issues affecting professional and grass roots rugby:

Tickets.com
Tickets.com is an industry leading ticketing and marketing solutions provider to sports, entertainment, arts and visitor attraction venues worldwide. Tickets.com’s products and services are specifically designed to address a venue’s current and evolving requirements, enabling clients to capture, access and manage consumer data through ticketing enquiries and sales. Combining customer-centric ticketing technology and industry-recognised support, Tickets.com delivers best-in-quality ticketing technology alongside unsurpassed levels of customer service; Its ProVenue® suite of products is the latest and most advanced customer-centric ticketing platform that puts users in complete control of their ticketing operation.

For more information visit uk.provenue.com

Technogym
Technogym specialises in athlete performance development, injury prevention and rehabilitation. Two decades’ experience as official fitness equipment supplier to the Olympic and Paralympic summer games, plus our research and development work, helps us create new products and solutions for all people to achieve their wellness goals. We can help you monitor athlete fitness levels and capacity in an even more efficient way, thanks to machines compatible with electrocardiograph and metabograph gas analysers, software programmes and specific test protocols. This constant control enables athletes to avoid injuries, diseases and heart-related problems.

For more information visit www.technogym.com

SeatServe
SeatServe enables fans to order food, drinks & merchandise from their smartphone & have it delivered to their seat by existing concessions, at any venue. By not having to join pre-game & HT queues, fans receive a markedly improved match day experience, which is likely to bring them back more often. With minimal operational disruption, we can also help you up-sell in real time based on the weather or score, ahead of monetising the data generated thereafter. SeatServe integrates into all other digital platforms & arguably represents the most tangible return on the investments being made in WiFi.

For more information visit www.seatserve.co.uk

Robbin Sports
With 40 years’ experience in manufacturing both sports and architectural metal products to schools, colleges, universities and sporting academies within the South West of England, Robbin is ideally situated geographically and commercially to extend its long history of service and quality products direct to all sporting organisations via Robbin. Manufacturing from our 38,000 sq ft production facility in the South West, Robbin was founded through the demand for rugby posts for our local teams. Our passion for Sport and 40 years of commitment to design, engineering and service, has led to the creation of Robbin Sports.

For more information visit www.robbinsports.co.uk

Contego Sports
N-Pro by Contego Sports is a rugby head guard scientifically proven to provide impact protection. N-Pro may look like other rugby headgear, but it performs much differently. Utilising our cutting edge defentex™, impact management technology, N-Pro is designed to reduce the G-Force energy transferred to a player’s head during impact, one of the major factors in sports-induced brain injury. Current headguards are designed to prevent cuts, abrasions and “cauliflower” ears. They only provide minimal impact protection. The N-Pro head guard manages G-Force impact energy, through its multi-layer construction without compromising comfort and fit. Our next generation head guard is also the first sports head guard on the market to be a CE marked Medical Device.

For more information visit www.n-pro.com

Retail & Sports Systems Ltd
Retail & Sports Systems Ltd specialise in fully integrated retail systems created specifically for the sports industry. Our modules include point of sale, eCommerce, stock control, purchase ordering, wholesale, executive box shopping and reporting. The R&SS system has been proven to increase sales whilst reducing costs, and is currently installed in three rugby clubs and sixteen football clubs with more joining year on year. Service is a major priority and as a result we have never lost a customer to a competitor.

For more information visit www.retailsportssystems.co.uk

PREMIERSHIP RUGBY today announces the renewal of their long-term partnership with Perform, one of the world's leading digital sports content and media groups.

The five-year deal with Perform Group sees the continuation of Perform's management of Premiership Rugby Productions. In this role they cover the production of up to 66 Aviva Premiership Rugby matches each season as well as producing highlights and clips for global distribution.

The new agreement also delivers a number of new initiatives including the facility to allow every Aviva Premiership Rugby and Singha Premiership Rugby 7s match and many Anglo-Welsh Cup games to be broadcast live around the world through the Perform Sports Cloud.

"Perform will continue to operate Premiership Rugby Productions for us, delivering outside broadcasts on our non-BT Sport matches and the production of highlights. They also provide content for our Premiership Rugby TV and YouTube platforms," said Dominic Hayes the Commercial Director of Premiership Rugby.

"This investment in content creation for Aviva Premiership Rugby, the Anglo-Welsh Cup and the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s has enabled us to deliver quality content to television channels and digital platforms all over the world. This is integral to the expansion of the global reach of Premiership Rugby, delivering live and highlights content not only on BT Sport in the UK and NBC in America but in 200 markets, reaching more than 175 million households around the world.

"This season, for the first time, every Aviva Premiership Rugby match is broadcast live somewhere around the world. It is the work of Premiership Rugby Productions that makes this happen with a huge amount of expertise behind the scenes."

The new contract features:

* Long-term partnership five year renewal (12 years by the end of the contract)

* Enhanced production values across all Perform-produced outside broadcasts - including onsite graphics and commentary meaning every single match is available worldwide for broadcasters with a considerable number taking every single match. Also allows for BT Sport's extended highlights show.

* Additional digital and social media content output.

* IP broadcast distribution services provision through the Perform Sports Cloud.

"To extend our long-term relationship with Premiership Rugby is massive news for Perform," said Gareth Rees, Senior Vice President at Perform.

"The fantastic partnership we have built up with them over the years continues to expand and we look forward to delivering all our services, both domestically and internationally, for the next five years."

Yorkshire Carnegie are delighted to announce that the Oakapple Group have extended their partnership with the club for a further two years

The Oakapple Group logo, which currently appears on both the home and away shorts, will now also feature on the front of the Yorkshire Carnegie home shirt for the remainder of this season starting from this Saturday's British & Irish Cup clash with Bedford Blues at Selby.

Oakapple is a forward thinking and innovative property development group committed to excellence in everything it does. The Leeds-based company was established in 1994 and has grown into one of the largest and most successful independent property developers in the region. This success can be attributed to their vision, versatility and the strength of the team within the Group.

Commenting on the new deal, Yorkshire Carnegie Commercial Director Rob Oates said, "We have had a fantastic relationship with Oakapple Group Chairman Philip Taylor and his team for a number of years at Yorkshire Carnegie and we are delighted to have agreed this longer term deal. Having recently announced our partnership with Crabbie's Ginger Beer for the away shirt, it is great news that the home shirt sponsorship portfolio is now completed also."

To celebrate the new partnership we are offering one lucky fan the chance to win a home shirt, complete with the Oakapple Group logo, signed by the Yorkshire Carnegie squad. Get your copy of Carnegie Times at Saturday's game to find out how to enter.

Crabbie's and Northampton Saints has today announced an Elite Partnership that will see the drinks brand and Aviva Premiership club work closely together across a variety of projects over the next five years.

Crabbie's will become the official ginger beer of Northampton Saints and as well as a substantial presence at Franklin's Gardens on home match days will use a range of promotional opportunities to develop awareness of both brands, not least with the local clubs within the Saints region.

Furthermore, Crabbie's is backing a brand new Touch Rugby tournament that will launch in the summer of 2017 and expand in subsequent years, increasing participation in one of the fastest-growing areas of the sport among both men and women.

Michelle Chadwick, senior marketing controller for Crabbie's, commented: "Crabbie's is passionate about supporting rugby at every level, from grassroots all the way up to the elite game.

"This ethos could not be better summed up than in our new partnership with Northampton Saints. This is an elite Premiership club with international players, a proud history and also one with strong links into the community game at all levels.

"Crabbie's is proud to partner with the Saints and we look forward to enjoying lots of success together."

Saints chief executive Allan Robson says that this partnership has the potential to make a positive impact on the growth of the Crabbie's brand, the Saints as a club and rugby as a participation sport.

"We like to work with our sponsors and partners on exciting new initiatives, and this new Elite Partnership with Crabbie's does exactly that," he said. "We will be able to offer supporters who come into Franklin's Gardens on match days more choice and entertainment, and also help grow the community side of the club, too, that works with local clubs throughout the East of England.

"We're delighted to have Crabbie's on board to help us expand our work in the region."

Like the Saints, Crabbie's has a long-standing legacy of excellence, dating back to when John Crabbie capitalised on the port of Leith, near Edinburgh, to bring together the finest ingredients from around the globe into a distinctive and memorable alcoholic ginger beer.

To find out more about this story head to www.crabbiesgingerbeer.co.uk

Please enjoy Crabbie's responsibly.

RFU

Andy Cosslett has been elected Chairman of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) Board following today's RFU Council meeting.

He will take up the position with immediate effect replacing Bill Beaumont who became Chairman of World Rugby earlier this year.

Cosslett previously held an Independent Non-Executive Director role on the RFU Board and oversaw the delivery of the biggest Rugby World Cup in history as Chairman of England Rugby 2015.

The 61 year old has a lifelong association with the game and played the sport for 25 years. He is currently Vice President of Weybridge Vandals.

His 30 year global business experience has seen him hold CEO roles at Fitness First and InterContinental Hotels Group. He also spent 14 years with Cadbury Schweppes in a variety of senior roles around the world.

Andy Cosslett said: "I am delighted to be appointed Chair of the RFU Board. It is a privilege to be involved with this game that has given me so much throughout my life.
"My role is to make sure we have strong governance in the Union and ensure that we make the most of all the resources we have at our disposal in this country for the good of the game."

Today the Council also approved proposals for a new women's domestic club competition, backed and run by the RFU, which will replace the existing Women's Premiership from next season.

Super League (Europe) Ltd is delighted to announce that UK based bookmakers Betfred will become the title partner of Rugby League's elite club competition, the Betfred Super League, for the next three years.

Since brothers Fred and Peter Done opened their first store in Salford in 1967, Betfred has grown to become the world's largest independent bookmaker, with over 1,300 stores nationwide and Head Offices in Birchwood, Warrington.

The company will have naming rights to the Betfred Super League in their 50th year of trading and will be showcased at grounds across the country in front of more than two million spectators each year. The brand will also benefit from featuring across TV and radio through Super League partners Sky Sports, BBC TV, BBC 5Live Radio and talkSPORT.

Following the announcement of the partnership, Super League Chief Executive Nigel Wood, said: "Betfred is a well-recognised household name and I am delighted to welcome them to the sport as the new title sponsors of the Betfred Super League. Building on increased financial investment from the previous title sponsor, Betfred is the latest major company to recognise the advantages of associating their brand with Rugby League and shows the strength of our sport in the commercial market. I'm sure this new exciting partnership will bring great benefits to both parties.

"I have met with owner Fred Done, who is passionate about Rugby League and we look forward to working closely with him, everyone at Betfred and our member clubs to continue to increase the visibility of our sport over the next three years.

"Finally we would also like to pass on our sincere thanks to First Utility for their support of Rugby League for the previous three years."

The deal, which will begin in 2017, will complement Betfred's other partnerships which include being UK horseracing's biggest sponsor and their current sponsorship of the Betfred World Snooker Championships.

Topping the list of the North West's Top 200 Businesses for the fourth year running, Betfred has previously supported the game for a number of years at club level and in a number of advertising campaigns and they are committed to assisting Super League in driving the competition's profile.

Speaking about the partnership, Betfred boss Fred Done, said: "Next year will be Betfred's 50th birthday and what better way to celebrate than by becoming title sponsor of the Betfred Super League! I am delighted to sign such a high profile deal and, having met with Nigel Wood and his team I truly believe that we are a perfect fit for Super League where we will hope to match the real passion displayed by the fans, players, media partners and everyone involved throughout the Rugby League."

Betfred will become the official Super League title partner from 2017 – 2019.

Rugby Expo is back for 2016 at its new home of the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

With just three weeks left until the event opens its doors to the business world of rugby, here are just some of the exhibitors you can meet during the two days, which will also host a packed conference programme addressing the topical issues affecting professional and grass roots rugby:

Switch The Play
Switch The Play is a social enterprise with a mission to help people fulfil their potential through and beyond sport. We work across all sports with organisations, practitioners, and athletes to put in place plans to help prepare for and manage effective transition through and beyond sport.

For more information visit www.switchtheplay.com

AFL Architects
AFL is a leading architectural practice of sports specialists with offices in Manchester, London, Birmingham. We have designed some of the UK’s most recognised stadiums, training facilities and leisure venues including masterplanning sites to allow clubs to develop and improve facilities. Working with sporting brands, local authorities and private developers, we are committed to delivering solutions which are challenging, sensitive, exciting and exceed client expectations. Based on a proven track record of over five decades in delivering high quality buildings, we have built up a portfolio that reflects our expertise in the field of Architecture.

For more information visit www.afl-uk.com

ClubMinder
Looking for an easier way to manage your Membership & Tills at your Rugby Club? For over 20 years, ClubMinder has provided clubs of all types with integrated software to manage their businesses. With a keen focus on ease of use and automation, ClubMinder provides end-to-end solutions including Membership Management, Tills, Stock Control and a Time & Attendance Module.

For more information visit www.clubminder.co.uk

Sport Mobile Ltd.
Sport Mobile are proud to have become Official Business Partners of the RPA and because of this, can offer it and its members our exclusive UK Mobile Phone Tariffs and Roaming Rates for when travelling. Sport Mobile provide High St competitive tariffs with the added value of your own Personal Account Manager, dedicated customer service team and 24/7 support.

For more information visit www.sportmobile.co.uk

Imagen Ltd.
Imagen manages media for some of the world’s leading sporting organisations, providing a convenient and cost-effective way to monetise and preserve video content. Imagen gives rights-holders the platform to maximize the full value of their near live and legacy content via a highly customisable, online video library. Increase fan engagement through a Subscription VOD platform – with flexible payment packages and full insight into user engagement via an advanced analytics dashboard.

For more information visit www.imagenevp.com

MH Systems
MH Systems delivers powerful award winning EPoS systems with a user-friendlier membership, database and subscription system to assist RUGBY CLUBS in delivering a better club membership experience and drive club revenues. Members use pre-paid cards, minimising cash transactions & ultimately faster service. Two tier pricing to reward members with discounts while maintaining higher retail/visitor prices. Increased sales and transformed bottom lines. User friendly for staff and short training times. Better member management and higher net profits. Brilliant sales analysis (products, revenues, times, staffing). Sales support from experts.

For more information visit www.mhsystems.co.uk

England Rugby has announced a charity partnership with Sport Relief with an ambition to raise £4 million over four years to support projects and programmes that use rugby to help change people's lives and as a tool for social good.

Money raised through this partnership will be awarded as grants by Comic Relief to charitable projects and programmes, through the Try for Change Fund, which is a fully managed fund by Comic Relief.

Ian Ritchie, RFU Chief Executive said "Partnering with Sport Relief sets out our clear commitment to grow rugby as a tool for social good and widen the impact of rugby, and its values, to improve the lives of those who need it most. We are very proud to make our commitment to raising £4million over the next four years."

The grants offered through the Try for Change Fund will focus on projects that increase community cohesion, positively impact on a young person's educational attainment, employability and mental health and which help reduce a young person's risk of involvement in gangs or offending.

More details of the Try for Change Fund and the grant strategy will be released in due course.

Michele Settle, Director, UK Campaigns & Brands at Comic Relief said: "We're delighted to have been chosen as a partner of England Rugby. We believe that sport is a powerful tool for helping bring about social change and their commitment over four years will make a huge difference to the lives of people right here in the UK and across the world's poorest communities."

Sport plays an important role in improving the lives of millions of people across the world - bringing people together to play, learn, improve their health and benefit from shared experiences. The Try for Change Fund aims to help people reach their goals and fulfil their potential, as well as deliver long-term benefits to the wider community.

As part of England Rugby's partnership with Sport Relief, a number of high-profile charitable events will take place across the four-year period from now until Rugby World Cup 2019 in order to help achieve the £4million fundraising target.

For more information about the Try for Change Fund and our fundraising programme please visit: www.englandrugby.com/tryforchange