The Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) Organising Committee is delighted to announce Harvey Norman as the Official Major Partner of this year's Women's Rugby League World Cup.

Harvey Norman is Australia's strongest corporate supporter of women's Rugby League with a long-standing investment in the women's game from the grassroots through to the elite level.

The partnership with Harvey Norman will further elevate this year's tournament. For the first time in the history of the game, the Women's Rugby League World Cup will be played as a standalone event, not part of a user pays Festival.

The Women's Rugby League World Cup 2017 will see both the men's and women's finals played as a double-header in Brisbane on 2 December 2017 – the first time two World Cup winners will be crowned on the same day, on the same stage.

RLWC2017 CEO Andrew Hill said: "The Rugby League World Cup 2017 Organising Committee and Rugby League International Federation are delighted to welcome Harvey Norman as the Major Partner of this year's historic Women's Rugby League World Cup, and with their support we look forward to showcasing women's Rugby League to a wider audience.


"Not only do we want this to be a memorable event for all involved, but we want this tournament to set a successful framework for future Rugby League World Cups to build upon as the women's international game evolves."

Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page said: "The Women's Rugby League World Cup is the ultimate international contest and stage of women's Rugby League and Harvey Norman had to be there in support of the female athletes and the event.

"It is less than a week since the Harvey Norman Jillaroos won the ANZAC Test against the Kiwi Ferns in such a sensational game and it gives us all a sense of what we have to look forward to with the Women's Rugby League World Cup.

"Harvey Norman recently announced our support of both the NSW Rugby League and Queensland Rugby League female pathways programs and we have been the naming rights partner of the Jillaroos since 2015.

"Now, as the Official Major Partner of this year's Women's Rugby League World Cup, Harvey Norman can support our female athletes, and those that make their training and development possible, up through the ranks to the highest level of competition.


The Rugby League International Federation confirmed that Australia, Canada, Cook Islands, England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea will be the six teams to contest the Women's Rugby League World Cup 2017.

Harvey Norman will receive brand integration through on field grass logos and in-stadia signage at Southern Cross Group Stadium in Cronulla, where the pool stage and semi-finals will be contested from 16 November to 26 November 2017.

The RLWC2017 Organising Committee would also like to acknowledge the NSW Government, Queensland Government and Federal Government for their support of the Women's Rugby League World Cup 2017.

Old Elthamians are delighted to announce that main club sponsor Secure Trading has become Principal Partner to England Sevens.

"We are massively proud that our main sponsor has secured this partnership with England rugby at the start of what is the biggest weekend in Old Elthamians' history"

The four-year agreement will see Secure Trading, specialists in online payment processing, become the official partner to England Sevens, and become front-of-shirt sponsor of the men's and women's senior England Sevens squads.

"This is a fantastic time for Secure Trading to join us as an official partner of the RFU at what is an exciting time for rugby sevens," said RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie. "We very much look forward to the exciting initiatives that this relationship will bring on all levels."

Secure Trading's support for rugby sevens in England will extend to the RFU's grassroots initiative '24/Sevens' which launched in 2016. They will become the title sponsor of the community sevens series which aims to continue to grow sevens rugby and increase participation. By aligning existing domestic sevens tournaments, the competition has created consistent playing opportunities for sevens players at grassroots level with over 6,000 players participating in 2016.

The new Secure Trading 24/Sevens Series comprises several tiers of competition with a local and regional qualifying stage, culminating in a national final which will take place on 29 July in Bath.

"The partnership will cover the grassroots to the elite end of the game and we very much look forward to the exciting initiatives that this relationship will bring on all levels," added Ritchie.

Old Elthamians Director of Rugby Gavin Lach said: "We are massively proud that our main sponsor has secured this partnership with England rugby at the start of what is the biggest weekend in Old Elthamians' history."

Premiership Rugby matches will be shown live on terrestrial television for the first time in the competition's history, as Premiership Rugby and Channel 5 today confirm a landmark four-year deal.

The agreement will see Channel 5 broadcast five live games each season from 2017-18, as well as show a highlights programme every Sunday night, covering Premiership Rugby, Anglo-Welsh Cup and Premiership Rugby 7s.

The new contract has been agreed after a competitive bidding process, and will see Channel 5 simulcast five live games with BT Sport, who will continue to broadcast up to 80 live Premiership games per season.

This new deal for club rugby adds to Channel 5's growing sports portfolio, which includes live boxing and motor sports (including live Formula E Racing), weekly football highlights from across the EFL, as well as its acclaimed cricket highlights package showcasing all England home games. The channel also demonstrated its commitment to live sport recently by providing a terrestrial home for live cricket (also simulcast with BT Sport) for the first time in over a decade, earlier this year, when it broadcast five T20 fixtures from the Australian Big Bash League.

The deal with Premiership Rugby also sees Channel 5 secure the rights to broadcast a weekly highlights programme. The show will feature all the action from around the grounds, and is set to be fronted by recognised names, as well as featuring the insights of former and current players. Channel 5 will announce its production partner in due course.

Earlier in the season Premiership Rugby extended its agreement with Perform, one of the world's leading digital sports content and media groups. The five-year deal with Perform Group confirms that they will continue producing the Premiership Rugby Highlights show.

"This agreement with Channel 5 will supplement the brilliant, season-long coverage we have with BT Sport," said Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive, Premiership Rugby. "It will give even more fans a taste of the excitement, incredible skills and unpredictability on show in Premiership Rugby every week.

"We have a very successful partnership with BT Sport that has seen our ratings grow by more than 40% across the last four years. This new agreement with Channel 5 complements that partnership and will bring club rugby to a new audience to provide a fantastic shop window."

Paul Dunthorne, COO of VIMN UK, Northern and Eastern Europe commented: "We're delighted to build on our growing sports portfolio and give a terrestrial home to Premiership Rugby. This deal underlines our commitment to live sport following our coverage of the Big Bash League, with terrestrial TV viewers enjoying live cricket for the first time in over a decade.

"Premiership Rugby is one of the most exciting competitions in UK sport; we hope our national reach aligned with our commitment to the sport will enable Premiership Rugby to reach new audiences."

McCafferty added: "In addition to the live matches Channel 5 will show Sunday night Premiership Rugby highlights at 8pm, which is vital to the continued growth of our competition. That appointment to view has been crucial in growing our live audiences on BT Sport and the same applies to the highlights show.

"The club game in England is booming with a 9% rise in attendances this season and a 44% increase in audiences watching Premiership Rugby since the league started broadcasting on BT Sport. This is coupled with a huge growth in our TV audiences around the world - Premiership Rugby is now available in 200 countries, reaching more than 175 million households globally.

"The 2017-18 season will be the 21st in Premiership Rugby history so what a way to celebrate that milestone than to have both BT Sport and Channel 5 broadcasting the best and most competitive league in the world."

World Rugby has announced that Land Rover has renewed as a Rugby World Cup 2019 Worldwide Partner after a hugely-successful partnership for the 2015 edition.

World Rugby has announced that Land Rover has renewed as a Rugby World Cup 2019 Worldwide Partner after a hugely-successful partnership for the 2015 edition.

Land Rover will be Official Vehicle of rugby's showcase men's event within an extended deal that will see the world's leading all-terrain vehicle manufacturer support other marquee World Rugby events.

With rugby experiencing continued record global participation, audience and fan-base growth, Land Rover has signed as an Official Partner for what promises to be a record-breaking Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 in Ireland, Official Partner of the World Rugby U20 Championship between 2017 and 2019 and Official Sponsor of the World Rugby Awards 2017 and 2018 in Monaco.

The bumper deal extends Land Rover's 20-year strong support of rugby from grassroots to elite level, following highly-successful worldwide partnerships of Rugby World Cup 2011 and 2015.

The award-winning 'We Deal In Real' campaign for 2015 put grassroots rugby at the heart of Land Rover's global marketing campaign and a bespoke Defender was created to transport the iconic Webb Ellis Cup on its domestic trophy tour and during the tournament.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "We are delighted to be extending our worldwide partnership with Land Rover, one of the world's most recognisable brands, and a true supporter of rugby globally from grassroots to the very pinnacle of the game.

"Driven by shared values and a common vision, we look forward to working in partnership with Land Rover to further rugby promotion and engagement within Japan and across Asia as we continue to count down to what promises to be a very special and ground-breaking Rugby World Cup 2019."

With a distinctive tournament look set to be unveiled at the pool draw on 10 May, Land Rover will provide vibrantly branded vehicles to support tournament logistics, while again providing the trusted carrier of the Webb Ellis Cup during a domestic trophy tour that will touch more people than ever before.

Jaguar Land Rover Global Experiential Marketing Director Mark Cameron said: "We are excited to continue our Rugby World Cup journey by renewing our partnership with World Rugby for Rugby World Cup 2019. Land Rover is proud of its heritage and long-term commitment to the sport, and this new partnership with Rugby World Cup 2019 will enable us to further engage our global markets, retailers and customers with one of the world's biggest and best-loved sports events."

World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper added: "The continued global prestige and strength of Rugby World Cup is reinforced by the renewed commitment from one of the world's leading supporters of global sporting events. Land Rover and Rugby World Cup are a great and natural fit and we are delighted they will be supporting Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 under the deal."

Land Rover follows Emirates and Heineken in renewing as a Rugby World Cup 2019 Worldwide Partner and Canon as an Official Sponsor. With excitement building, World Rugby is confident that the commercial programme will be finalised in record time with record value, underscoring the prestige of the Rugby World Cup brand in the global marketplace.

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

Connacht Rugby and Portwest have announced a new three year jersey sponsorship deal. This is the first foray into the world of rugby for outdoor and workwear company Portwest. The company logo will appear on the sleeve of the new jersey which will be unveiled in July.

Owned by brothers Cathal, Harry and Owen Hughes, Portwest is the fastest growing workwear company in the world and confidently expect turnover to reach €350 million by 2021. Portwest has three high street outdoor shops in Galway and Westport.

Commenting on the new partnership, Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said:

"We are delighted to welcome Portwest on board with us in what is a really exciting partnership for both parties. While Portwest operate on a worldwide scale, they are a local, West of Ireland company whose values are very much aligned to our own."

"This is an exciting new sponsorship for Portwest", said Owen Hughes, Acquisition and Financial Director at Portwest Limited, "We see this as a perfect match – two high achieving west of Ireland enterprises constantly innovating and sharing a confident, can-do attitude. We look forward to working with Connacht Rugby into the future".

Portwest Group Chairman Cathal Hughes also welcomed the new partnership, saying, "We are very happy to work with Connacht Rugby. Although we are a global company, we remain strongly committed to supporting our local community. This is an ideal opportunity to partner with a proud sporting team who carry the west of Ireland standard high wherever they go".

Bank of Ireland and Munster Rugby are delighted to confirm the renewal of their partnership in a new deal which will run until the end of the 2023 season.

The renewed sponsorship deal is alongside brand ambassadorships with Peter O'Mahony and Conor Murray who will represent Bank of Ireland for the 2017 / 2018 season, exclusive jersey branding of all playing and training kit for the Munster senior and "A" teams and the roll out of the Bank of Ireland Munster Rugby Summer camps in 23 locations across the province starting this July.

Speaking on the announcement at the Munster Rugby open training day in Irish Independent Park, Gemma Bell, Sponsorship Manager, Bank of Ireland said: "We are delighted to renew what has been a very successful partnership with Munster Rugby over the past four years. This will see the relationship extend into its 25th year in 2023 and builds on Bank of Ireland's wider commitment to the Munster region.

"In Bank of Ireland we are committed to supporting communities across the country. Our 72 strong branch network in Munster combined with Munster Rugby's large and devoted fan base provides an excellent fit for Bank of Ireland to connect with communities across the Munster region and the wider country."

Garrett Fitzgerald, CEO Munster Rugby added: "Munster are very happy to continue our partnership with Bank of Ireland, one that will be 25 years strong when the new agreement concludes. That alone is testament to the great work we continue to do together including the award winning 'Sponsor for a Day' competition for local businesses."

This agreement consolidates the Bank of Irelands support for Irish Rugby and its existing sponsorships of Leinster Rugby and Ulster Rugby.

Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) is delighted to announce Isuzu UTE Australia as the Official Automotive Partner for this year's tournament, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand with three pool matches in Papua New Guinea from 27 October – 2 December 2017.

As the Official Automotive Partner of the RLWC2017, Isuzu UTE Australia will receive brand integration through virtual on field, LED and in-stadia branding across all matches played in both Australia and New Zealand.

The popular Isuzu UTE Iron Summit activation, currently seen at major shows, field days and trade fairs, will appear at both the RLWC2017 semi-final and final at Brisbane Stadium, giving fans the opportunity to experience the sensation of the steepest 4WD testing ramp in the world.

At the end of the tournament, one lucky fan will drive away in a new Isuzu D-MAX, having entered the RLWC2017 and Isuzu D-MAX Memorable Moments competition. Supporters will be encouraged to vote for their favourite Rugby League World Cup moment at the RLWC2017 website ( and via various digital activities and community activations.

Isuzu UTE Australia will also promote their partnership with the RLWC2017 through their own marketing channels and extensive dealer network.

Andrew Hill, RLWC2017 CEO said: "We are delighted to welcome Isuzu UTE Australia as a Major Partner of the Rugby League World Cup 2017.


"As the tournament's Organising Committee, we made a deliberate decision to take the event as far and wide as we possibly could, so it's very fitting that Isuzu UTE Australia – with dealerships across the country – have become the Official Automotive Partner of the Rugby League World Cup 2017."

Director of Sales and Marketing for Isuzu UTE Australia, Yugo Kiyofuji, said the partnership provides great synergy for both parties.


"The rugged and durable Isuzu D-MAX and MU-X are proving their competitiveness in the automotive market, just like the world's toughest players in rugby league will prove their abilities when the Rugby League World Cup kicks off in October," Yugo said.

The RLWC2017 will feature 14 teams, contesting 28 games, in 13 cities over 5-weeks from 27 October to 2 December 2017. 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

Land Rover South Africa has renewed its sponsorship of Western Province Rugby, which represents the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province teams. By continuing its support of the team until 2019, the British brand reaffirms its global commitment to grassroots and professional rugby.

Land Rover's association with the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province kicked off in 2014, for that year's Vodacom Super Rugby and Currie Cup tournaments. In 2015, six DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province players went on to feature in the South African national squad at Rugby World Cup 2015, where Land Rover is a worldwide partner.

"Around the world, Land Rover is involved in rugby on every level – from amateur clubs and schools, all the way to the pinnacle of the sport, the Rugby World Cup," said Lisa Mallett, Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. "And through our association with Western Province Rugby and the Land Rover Rugby Ambassadors we're building an excellent platform to support and develop rugby in South Africa."

Selected players from the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province squads are chosen as Land Rover Rugby ambassadors. On the field, these courageous players use their determination, skill and strength to conquer all odds when facing off against the world's toughest teams. Off the field, Land Rover enables them to pursue their passion for the sport through Rugby Goes Rural, Moments that Matter and Hope Crosses Any Terrain.

The Rugby Goes Rural rugby clinics are hosted by the Land Rover ambassadors at rural schools throughout South Africa, as well as schools where those ambassadors grew up playing rugby. Rugby Goes Rural forms part of Land Rover's Hope Crosses Any Terrain programme, which contributes to Jaguar Land Rover's global corporate social responsibility objective of creating opportunities for 12 million people by 2020.

"Over the last three years the team at Land Rover has proven to be every bit as passionate about rugby as our fans are, and created some excellent opportunities. The players definitely are proud to wear the Land Rover badge," said Paul Zacks, CEO of Western Province Rugby. "I look forward to working with Land Rover on all the exciting projects they have for the fans and the players, over the next three years."

President of the Western Province Rugby Football Union, Mr Thelo Wakefield, said that the union is proud to stand together with a sponsor like Land Rover.

"It fills us with pride to be associated with a prestigious sponsor like Land Rover and we look forward to the next chapter of this great partnership," said Wakefield.

The 2017 Land Rover ambassadors include DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province players, Captain, Siya Kolisi, Vice Captain, Eben Etzebeth, 2016 SARU Rugby Player of the Year, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Juan de Jongh, Scarra Ntubeni and a sixth Land Rover Rugby Ambassador to be revealed within the next month.

Warren Gatland today unveiled the 41-man squad for the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand.

"I feel humbled and extremely proud to be given the opportunity to captain the Lions for a second Tour"

Sam Warburton of Cardiff Blues and Wales will lead the Lions for a second consecutive Tour, an honour only ever achieved once before by Martin Johnson in 1997 and 2001.

Warburton will be supported by a number of former Lions with two players on their third and 14 on their second Tour.

The squad consists of 22 forwards and 19 backs, with Maro Itoje the youngest player at the age of 22.

Gatland, who spoke to Warburton on Thursday afternoon last week, explained: "Sam is a great player, an outstanding leader and a winning Lions captain. We believe that Sam's experience and leadership qualities make him an obvious choice as captain. He has earned the respect of his peers and coaches through his resilience, tenacity and hard work."

On the eve of the announcement Warburton attended a private dinner with all the living Lions captains in the Hilton Syon Park.

He said: "Being in the same room as so many Lions legends was an amazing experience. I feel humbled and extremely proud to be given the opportunity to captain the Lions for a second Tour and look forward to playing the world champions on their own turf with the best players of the UK and Ireland at my side."

Dan Biggar - Ospreys, Wales
Elliot Daly - Wasps, England
Jonathan Davies - Scarlets, Wales, Lions #778
Owen Farrell - Saracens, England, Lions #780
Leigh Halfpenny - Toulon, Wales, Lions #775
Robbie Henshaw - Leinster Rugby, Ireland
Stuart Hogg - Glasgow Warriors, Scotland, Lions #783
Jonathan Joseph - Bath Rugby, England
Conor Murray - Munster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #790
George North - Northampton Saints, Wales, Lions #792
Jack Nowell - Exeter Chiefs, England
Jared Payne - Ulster Rugby, Ireland
Jonathan Sexton - Leinster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #791
Tommy Seymour - Glasgow Warriors, Scotland
Ben Te'o - Worcester Warriors, England
Anthony Watson - Bath Rugby, England
Rhys Webb - Ospreys, Wales
Liam Williams - Scarlets, Wales
Ben Youngs - Leicester Tigers, England, Lions #799

Rory Best - Ulster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #793
Dan Cole - Leicester Tigers, England, Lions #794
Taulupe Faletau - Bath Rugby, Wales, Lions #779
Tadhg Furlong - Leinster Rugby, Ireland
Jamie George - Saracens, England
Iain Henderson - Ulster Rugby, Ireland
Maro Itoje - Saracens, England
Alun Wyn Jones - Ospreys, Wales, Lions #761
George Kruis - Saracens, England
Courtney Lawes - Northampton Saints, England
Joe Marler - Harlequins, England
Jack McGrath - Leinster Rugby, Ireland
Ross Moriarty - Gloucester Rugby, Wales
Sean O'Brien - Leinster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #796
Peter O'Mahony - Munster Rugby, Ireland
Ken Owens - Scarlets, Wales
Kyle Sinckler - Harlequins, England
CJ Stander - Munster Rugby, Ireland
Justin Tipuric - Ospreys, Wales, Lions #786
Mako Vunipola - Saracens, England, Lions #787
Billy Vunipola - Saracens, England
Sam Warburton (Captain) - Cardiff Blues, Wales, Lions #800

The British & Irish Lions have announced that Cornwall-based Sharp's Brewery's premium cask beer, Doom Bar, has become an Official Sponsor for the 2017 Tour to New Zealand.

"The association of Doom Bar with the Lions is a great fit, based on our values of dedication, commitment, precision and teamwork, which are required on the field and in the brew house."

The Lions Tour is a unique moment in the global sporting calendar. Once every four years a squad from the four home nations of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland come together to take on the southern hemisphere, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand, playing each team only once every 12 years.

Doom Bar will be joining the Lions family as an Official Sponsor in the UK and Ireland. This partnership will run up to and throughout the 10-game adventure building to the highlight of the sporting summer, the three Test match series against the All Blacks, the double world champions.

James Nicholls, Senior Brand Manager at Sharp's Brewery said: "We believe the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand represents the iconic and inspirational pinnacle of the rugby game so this is a proud moment for all of us in the brewery. The association of Doom Bar with the Lions is a great fit, based on our values of dedication, commitment, precision and teamwork, which are required on the field and in the brew house.

"Doom Bar has always had a strong association with rugby and we are especially proud of our history of supporting numerous local clubs in Cornwall and beyond, where rugby values are instrumental in helping to develop both individuals and communities. We wish the team every success in New Zealand - it promises to be one of the most captivating tours yet with an outstanding array of talent available for the forthcoming squad selection."

Charlie McEwen, Chief Operating Officer of the British & Irish Lions, said: "We are delighted to welcome Doom Bar into the Lions commercial family and we are sure that our fans at home will enjoy celebrating the Tour with a pint of Doom Bar in hand. We look forward to working with them in the coming months in the UK & Ireland during the Tour."

Doom Bar is the UK's no. 1 cask beer, taking its name from the sandbank at the mouth of the River Camel in Rock on the Atlantic coast of North Cornwall, home of Sharp's Brewery since 1994.

Sharp's Brewery is a modern brewer, committed to brewing from only highest quality ingredients, without artificial additives.