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English Rugby
RFU suffer Investec sponsorship blow
ESPNscrum Staff
June 10, 2011
England captain Lewis Moody rallies his troops, England v South Africa, Twickenham, England, November 27, 2010
Investec's decision will come as an untimely blow to the RFU © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Martin Johnson | John Steele
Tournaments/Tours: IRB Rugby World Cup
Teams: England

The Rugby Football Union have been dealt a huge financial blow with the news that long-term sponsor Investec have cut their ties with the organisation.

England's fixture against Wales at Twickenham on August 6 will be Investec's 35th and last as match sponsor - bringing an end to a lucrative 12-year relationship. The setback will do little to lighten the mood at Twickenham in the wake of the recent shock departure of chief executive John Steele after spending less than a year in the role.

"On behalf of the England team I'd like to thank Investec for backing English rugby over the last 12 years," England manager Martin Johnson said in a statement. "Their consistency of investment has helped England have the right facilities and environment to develop as a team. The final Investec International against Wales at Twickenham on August 6 will be a very important step for us towards the World Cup."

Paul Vaughan, Business Operations Director of the RFU, added his own praise for the role Investec have had in recent times. "Investec's support over the past 12 years has enabled the RFU to invest in all levels of the game from grassroots to the elite over a number of years," said Vaughan. "They have been an outstanding partner that always looked for a creative way to sponsor England's Autumn Internationals."

The RFU are reportedly in discussion with a number of other parties about taking on the title sponsorship of the autumn international series at Twickenham which will not take place this year due to the scheduling of the Rugby World Cup. Meanwhile, Investec will still have a presence in rugby as a major sponsor of southern hemisphere rugby.

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