The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has launched a “Good for Rugby” authenticity mark as part of a new consumer protection strategy.
The initiative is designed to help fans and customers more easily identify official England Rugby products and services, including tickets, merchandise and hospitality.
The “Good for Rugby” emblem will provide a clear visual identifier to give consumers confidence they are buying from a trusted and authentic source.
The move is part of efforts by the RFU to crack down on fake England Rugby goods and services, which take revenues away from the national governing body and therefore the grassroots game.
The organisation is keen to emphasise that its profits are directly reinvested in upgrading facilities and rugby clubs around the country, providing coaches, developing the next generation of players, rewarding volunteers, building artificial grass pitches and supporting England teams at all levels.
Steve Brown, RFU chief executive officer, said: “This is part of the RFU’s ongoing efforts to protect rugby fans from purchasing counterfeit merchandise or falling victim to rogue traders selling unofficial tickets or hospitality.
“With a number of England Rugby products available either directly from the RFU or via a small number of partners we want to give people confidence in their purchases which the Good For Rugby brand will do.”
“We are urging fans not to risk their money or potentially being refused entry by using either unauthorised re-selling platforms or buying tickets and hospitality through unofficial means.
"All profit generated by the RFU from ticket sales, hospitality and merchandise is invested back into rugby so purchasing through official channels keeps money within the game.”
As part of the new consumer protection strategy, the RFU will continue to work with other event owners and central government to share best practice and intelligence, while proactively monitoring the unofficial and re-sale market for sales that contradict ticket terms and conditions.
The RFU is currently working with the Competitions and Markets Authority on its legal action against the secondary tickets site Viagogo.
A ticket exchange has been introduced on the England Rugby Ticket site, where tickets can be officially resold to other England Rugby fans and refunds issued to the original purchaser, once resold.
In addition, the RFU has launched England Rugby Hospitality, in partnership with Keith Prowse, which is the only seller of hospitality in Twickenham’s new East Stand for England internationals.
The introduction of England Rugby Hospitality marks a change in the way hospitality can be purchased, simplifying and improving the experience for customers by replacing the significant variations in price and quality of products that were sold by a variety of different hospitality agents.
Demand for England tickets at Twickenham means they can be hard to access, but the RFU stresses that at least 50% of the stadium’s 82,000 tickets for every international game are sold directly to the clubs, Constituent Bodies, Referee Societies, universities, colleges and schools that in turn grow and develop the game.