RFU suffer Investec sponsorship blow
June 10, 2011
Investec's decision will come as an untimely blow to the RFU © Getty Images
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.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry