Home or away, the Hurricanes key sponsors Fullerton Markets and Kia Motors New Zealand will be front and centre of the team's Investec Super Rugby campaign in 2017.

That's because for the second year running the Hurricanes will stand apart as the only team in Super Rugby with two different front of jersey sponsors

To celebrate a partnership with Fullerton and Kia that will run for the next three years, the Hurricanes have released a fun fan video: CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO VIEW

The Fullerton Markets logo will grace the front of the defending Super Rugby champion's playing jersey during regular season 'home' matches in 2017, while Kia Motors New Zealand will take pride of place for 'away' matches.
The Fullerton Markets branded black jersey with yellow shoulders will be worn for the first time during the Brisbane Global Tens on February 11-12.

The Kia branded yellow jersey with black shoulders will debut during the team's final preseason match against the Crusaders in Waverley before being worn in all overseas fixtures during the season.

The exception to the 'home and away' rule will be when the Hurricanes will wear their Kia 'away' strip against the Chiefs in Hamilton in round three due to a clash with the home team's colours.

Fullerton Markets CEO Mario Singh has been actively raising the company's profile worldwide and was thrilled with the latest partnership.

"As reigning Investec Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes have demonstrated qualities like resilience, commitment and teamwork. As a world-class brokerage, we resonate deeply with these qualities as well.

"After joining the Hurricanes family of sponsors last season it was an easy decision to up the ante in 2017 and become the front of jersey sponsor for all the home games. We can't wait to see the team run out in Brisbane with the Fullerton logo on the front of their jersey.

"We really felt like we were part of the Hurricanes family in 2016 and, like all the other fans at Westpac Stadium this season, we'll be right there with the team every step of the way. We're looking forward to seeing the Canes defend their title this year!"

Kia Motors NZ General Manager Todd McDonald said the company was looking forward to building on a strong relationship with the Hurricanes in 2017.

"We were proud to be associated with the club during the run to its maiden Super Rugby title in 2016. Being a major sponsor of the team and front and centre on the away jersey allows us to reach out to our customers both here in New Zealand and in key international markets.

"At Kia we pride ourselves on being innovative and exciting and I'm sure the Hurricanes will once again reflect those values in 2017. Our mantra is 'The Power to Surprise' and we're sure the Hurricanes will produce plenty of surprises for their opposition in the coming season."

Kia has a well-known association with sports sponsorship across the world including the FIFA World Cup, Australian Open and UEFA European Football Championship™.

Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee said the support of Fullerton Markets and Kia was highly valued as the club looked to raise the bar even further in 2017.

"Both Fullerton Markets and Kia represent excellence in their respective fields and that's what we want our club to be all about.

"We were delighted with our relationship last season and it's great that Fullerton Markets will join Kia as a front of jersey sponsor for the next three seasons."

• First three RFU Rugby 365 artificial grass pitches now complete in Lancashire, Buckinghamshire and Somerset
• Pitches officially unveiled by England Head Coach Eddie Jones, RFU President Peter Baines and RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie
• Pitch for a Pound promotion launched at each site offering the community the opportunity to try the new surface for just £1 an hour (+VAT) this January and February

Preston Grasshoppers RFC, Aylesbury RFC and Hornets RFC are the first three locations to host a RFU Rugby 365 floodlit artificial grass pitch (AGP). The pitches are part of the RFU's Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy of delivering over £47m investment over four year into the development of 100 AGPs across England.

The new AGPs will provide the communities with year-round rugby through the durability of the all-weather surface, which will enable additional training sessions and more flexibility in playing times due to the floodlights. As a result, the pitches are expected to increase rugby participation across clubs and community groups, further growing the sport.

On Saturday RFU CEO Ian Ritchie opened the new pitch at Aylesbury RFC as the club took on local rivals Beaconsfield RFC.

RFU chief executive, Ian Ritchie, said "It is expected that each AGP pitch will create between 1,500 and 2,000 hours of additional access to play per year and so we hope that the flexibility and enhanced opportunities they provide across the regions will open up the sport for a wider audience to enjoy the benefits of rugby."

On Sunday, RFU President Peter Baines opened the artificial grass pitch at Hornets RFC in between two matches; Hornets RFC Colts v Weston Super Mare RFC and Hornettes RFC v Cullompton Ladies, showing the variety of games already taking place on the pitches.

Eddie Jones launched Lancashire's Artificial Grass Pitch last night with a training session made up of 40 young players from clubs across the community in front of a 700-strong crowd.

England Head Coach Eddie Jones, said "I'm delighted to officially launch one of the RFU's first floodlit artificial grass pitches at Preston Grasshoppers RFC. It's been great to see the whole community come out in force to celebrate the launch and I hope to see clubs, schools and organisations all using and benefitting from this great facility."

As part of the official launches the RFU has introduced a "Pitch for a Pound" promotion, giving the local communities the chance to book an hour on the pitch for just £1 (+ VAT), this January and February, with half a pitch only 5op (+VAT). To book time on the Buckinghamshire, Lancashire or Somerset pitch, go to englandrugby.com/rugby365

The RFU has invested £47m into the Rugby 365 artificial grass pitch programme, with a commitment to build 60 artificial grass pitches on rugby club sites across England over four years.

Feasibility has started on phase two sites across the country, with construction due to start on 17 more pitches this summer.

Alongside the Rugby 365 programme the RFU is investing into partner organisations to part-fund 40 pitches on community sites. Three educational sites are currently in development and will be announced in due course.

For more information on Artificial Grass Pitches, and to book a pitch near you, go to www.englandrugby.com/rugby365

Warriors are delighted to announce a new commercial partnership with EBC Group, which sees the technology provider become the Club's Official IT Partner as well as sponsoring the XV Club at Sixways.

Warriors and EBC Group have agreed a four-year deal, with the XV Club being renamed the EBC Group XV Club.

The EBC XV Club will host Warriors' key hospitality guests on matchdays, as well as home and away directors.

Warriors Partnership Manager Leyton Williams said: "We are delighted to welcome EBC Group to the Warriors partnership family.

"Having another partner on board shows the positivity that surrounds Warriors within the business community.

"We look forward to welcoming customers and guests to the EBC Group XV Club for the next four years."

EBC Group is one of a growing number of businesses to recognise the benefit of a relationship with Warriors, backing up their recent commercial partnerships with Wolverhampton Racecourse, Midlands Air Ambulance and Worcestershire Rapids.

EBC Group Managing Director Richard Lane said: "We're delighted to be entering into a commercial partnership to become Warriors' Official IT Partner and will be fully managing all aspects of their IT.

He added: "Our sponsorship of the XV Club will help us promote our IT and technology services to business leaders across Worcestershire, as well as providing an excellent facility for us to host hospitality and events."

Figures released today show that Aviva Premiership Rugby is booming as 2017 kicks off, with confirmation of significant rises in both attendances and live TV audiences.

Compared to last season Aviva Premiership Rugby has seen crowds leap by an impressive 10% with more than 995,000 fans watching the competition already in this campaign. And the good news continues away from the pitch as live TV audiences - on BT Sport - have grown by 13% compared to the same time last season.

Key Facts

• Aviva Premiership Rugby attendances are up 10.1% this season;
• The average Aviva Premiership Rugby attendance is now 13,833;
• 995,976 fans have attended Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this season which means the one millionth fan will attend Newcastle Falcons v Bath Rugby on Friday night;
• 156,534 people attended Aviva Premiership Rugby matches in Round 11, the second biggest attendance ever in one round;
• The nine Big Games hosted by Harlequins at Twickenham have been watched by a staggering 670,040 people with more than 77,000 at Twickenham at the end of December;
• Average Live TV match audiences on BT Sport are up 13% up on last season and 5% up on our highest ever season (2014-15);
• 4.41 million have watched live Aviva Premiership Rugby this season on BT Sport;

These rises come at a time when Aviva Premiership Rugby is available in more countries around the world than ever before in its history. In total the live coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby is now available in 200 markets, reaching more than 175 million households around the world.

Recent new ground-breaking broadcast contracts mean Aviva Premiership Rugby is not only live on BT Sport, but on a number of other renowned TV channels including NBC in America, Fox Sports in Australia, SFR in France, OSN in the Middle East and ESPN in Latin America.

"It's great to start 2017 with such good news," said Mark McCafferty, the Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby.

"The 10% increase in Aviva Premiership Rugby attendances and 13% increase in live TV audiences shows that Premiership Rugby's appeal continues to grow.

"The growth has come on the back of a huge amount of hard work not only at Premiership Rugby but at our 12 clubs and these rises are a testament to them."

The RFU is delighted to announce Prince Harry as its new patron, following a Buckingham Palace announcement earlier today that Her Majesty The Queen will be handing over the patronage at the end of this year.
The Queen has been patron of the RFU for 64 years having held the role since 1952, after taking over the position from her father, King George VI, following his death.
The Queen has attended numerous rugby matches at Twickenham and two Rugby World Cups in the United Kingdom (1991 and 1999). As one of her last acts as Patron, alongside Prince Philip and Prince Harry, The Queen last year hosted an event at Buckingham Palace during the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Over 400 senior officials from the RFU, England Rugby 2015, World Rugby, players, staff and volunteers working at the tournament attended.
Prince Harry has been Vice Patron of the union since 2010. A big rugby fan, he regularly attends England matches at Twickenham and has supported the work of the RFU and its charities in that time. Prince Harry was also Honorary President of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Peter Baines, RFU President, said: "It has been a privilege and an honour to have The Queen as Patron of the RFU for over 60 years. She has been a fantastic supporter of the union and we thank her for that and her contribution to the game of rugby in England."
He added: "We welcome Prince Harry as our new Patron. He has been Vice Patron for a number of years already and a regular at England Tests at Twickenham. He has been a brilliant ambassador of our work in the community and our charities as well as internationally for the union as President of the 2015 Rugby World Cup."

The Aquis Gold Coast Titans have today signed a three-year apparel partnership with Classic Sportswear, through until the end of season 2019.

Classic Sportswear has been manufacturing sportswear for over 80 years and is recognised throughout the sporting industry as a quality and reliable manufacturer, particularly in the Rugby League world.

With this announcement, the club has reluctantly ended its relationship with BLK after its parent company, World Rugby Specialists Group, went into receivership last month. Since that news became public knowledge, the Titans have continuously sought guarantees from BLK and the Receivers that our 2017 apparel would be produced and delivered on time as required under our contract. Unfortunately, despite repeated requests the club has not been provided with the necessary comfort to continue the relationship.

CEO Graham Annesley admitted that the decision to leave BLK was taken with a heavy heart.

"Anytime something like this happens it is difficult to process, and it has been made even more gut-wrenching as BLK is a local Gold Coast based company, " Annesley said.

"Unfortunately, we have had to make this decision to ensure we are in a position to meet our 2017 NRL commitments with the new season now just around the corner. Although we really feel for BLK, we are absolutely delighted to be entering a long-term partnership with Classic Sportswear.

"Classic is a well-respected brand with a long association with Rugby League, so today's announcement of the new deal is a great result for the club, our members, and our supporters. We are very excited about the future prospects for the Titans and our partnership with Classic."

Classic Sportswear CEO Steve Noyce is delighted to be joining forces with the Titans.

"We are extremely excited to be partnering with the Aquis Gold Coast Titans," Noyce said. "Season 2016 saw the team improve significantly and we believe there are some exciting times ahead for the club. We also see great opportunities in growing their brand through our Retail network and working with them in the general community in which we have some strong relationships."

"It is a first for our company to have an elite sporting team in Queensland so we believe this will be the start of a long and prosperous partnership. We are very appreciative of the opportunity and the level of professionalism of the organisation during this period of change and have no doubt that this will continue in the years to come."

The Western Force proudly announced today that the club will continue its partnership with leading engineering and project services contractor, Clough, with the company signing on as a Major Partner through to 2019.

Established in 1919, Clough provides services to the Hydrocarbons, Marine, Minerals, and Infrastructure markets in Australia; Asia; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and North America. Clough has been on board with the Western Force as a Major Partner and collar sponsor since 2014.

Entering their fourth season with the club, Clough's logo will proudly feature on the right chest of the Western Force jersey for the next three seasons.

Today's announcement also marks the unveiling of the 2017 Western Force home jersey. The club has decided to go back to the traditional design of the blue jersey with the iconic black swan.

A return to this style demonstrates pride in playing for Western Australia, shows respect for our past and provides us with strong direction moving forward.

Western Force General Manager Mark Sinderberry welcomed the continued partnership with Clough saying it is fantastic to have the ongoing support of the Western Australian company.

"We are proud to be partnering with Clough for another three seasons and we are thrilled to have the continued support of such a prominent Western Australian company."

"Clough shares our passion for growing rugby from the grassroots level right through to the Western Force and over the last three years have been integral in helping our club strive towards our goals.

"The relationship is further strengthened by this agreement and we thank Clough for standing by us in a difficult time as we look forward to an exciting next three years of this partnership."

Clough CEO and Managing Director, Peter Bennett, said his organisation is thrilled to renew our partnership with the Western Force through to 2019.

"Clough is proud to continue to stand beside the Force, both in difficult times such as these, and in the good times that will surely come. Being a partner with the Western Force and continuing our commitment to keeping Super Rugby in Western Australia, which aligns our interests in the game and the local community."

To find out more about Clough, visit www.clough.com.au .

 Reg Clark, Chief Executive of Rhino Rugby and Octavian Morariu, President of Rugby Europe, signed an agreement on Friday December 9th 2016 during Rugby Europe General Assembly meeting, appointing the manufacturer as “Rugby Europe Official Balls Supplier” for the 2017-2021 period.  

As a part of the contract, Rhino Rugby will provide all balls necessary to Rugby Europe official competitions, meaning around 80 international games and 20 European tournaments each season, in fifteen-a-side, seven-a-side and beach-rugby for men and women played throughout the 48 member unions.

In addition to the provision of balls, Rhino Rugby will assist Rugby Europe and its union members to grow the game via balls and additional technical equipment preferential offers, necessary for the practice of rugby. 

Octavian Morariu, President of Rugby Europe and IOC Member declared: “We are thrilled that RHINO Rugby joins Rugby Europe with this long-term partnership. Their proven expertise in top-level tournaments and championships will be very useful in the upgrade of our competitions. This is also a huge opportunity for Rugby Europe to support the unions in their development.”

Reg Clark, Chief Executive of Rhino Rugby comments :  “Rhino is delighted to become Official Ball Supplier to Rugby Europe and in addition to assist the 48 unions in its membership with the technical equipment needed to develop the game in those territories.  We operate at the highest levels of the game across many product categories but are equally committed to grass roots rugby.  We are looking forward enormously to working with Rugby Europe and its member unions.”

The first competition to be played with the Rhino Vortex Elite ball will be the first match-day of Rugby Europe Championship, the European Tier2 including Georgia, Romania, Russia, Spain, Germany and Belgium which will start on February 11th 2017. 

Wed 14th December 16 :

Suzuki sign on with Storm

Suzuki will remain a key part of the Melbourne Storm family through the 2018 season after extending their commitment to the Club as a premium sponsor.

This new agreement will see the affiliation between Storm and Suzuki extend to a decade-long partnership.

After first teaming up in 2008, Suzuki has remained the Club's exclusive motor vehicle partner, all the while showing a level of commitment that perfectly aligns with Melbourne's constant pursuit of excellence.

Over that time, the iconic Suzuki "S" has adorned the sleeves of all Melbourne Storm players. That logo positioning will continue with the contract extension.

Storm Chief Commercial Officer Ben Dunn said the Club was excited at the opportunity to continue to work alongside Suzuki.

"We are delighted to have Suzuki continue their support of Storm and appreciate the loyalty they have demonstrated," Dunn said.

"Our joint focus is to continually improve the game day experience and enhance opportunities for Storm fans & members to benefit from the Suzuki partnership.

"We look forward to continuing to work closely with Suzuki to innovate throughout the new term of the partnership."

General Manager of Suzuki Andrew Moore echoed the strong connection between the two organisations.

"Suzuki has enjoyed a fantastic partnership with Melbourne Storm that has seen unrivalled NRL success. We are pleased that our partnership will span a decade."

The JCB distribution company, that joined the Glasgow Warriors partner family at he beginning of last season, celebrated the renewal by hosting a training session at Cambuslang Rugby Club led by Warriors Assistant Coach Kenny Murray.

Cambuslang, who also partner with Scot JCB, has an impressive list of notable alumni including Warriors co-captain Jonny Gray.

Steve Bryant, Managing Director of Scot JCB said: "The publicity we have had since joining the partnership has been positive and to have the Warriors hosting a training session at Cambuslang has been well received by Jamie and all the players."

Glasgow Warriors managing director Nathan Bombrys said "We're pleased that Scot JCB have decided to partner with us for another season.

"It's great that they celebrated the renewal by supporting a community club and I look forward to another year of partnership."

Following the training session, Cambuslang coach Jamie Seery said: "We were delighted to have Kenny Murray down delivering a session thanks to sponsors Scot JCB and Glasgow Warriors.

"The session Kenny delivered was exactly what we needed and he was great with the players who have taken a lot of key points away from the session around defence."