By Daniel Hunter

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) have announced a long-term partnership with Canterbury, the world’s leading rugby brand, to become their official kit partner.

The four-year agreement will see Canterbury supplying kit to the England Senior, Saxons, Sevens, Women’s and age grade representative teams from September 2012 to beyond the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

The partnership brings together two brands with great rugby heritage and tradition, in addition to an unrivalled passion for the sport and its fans. For the RFU it also represents the largest kit partnership in the Union’s history, allowing continued investment into all levels of the game which is at the heart of the strategic focus for both organisations.

"We are delighted about this new partnership with Canterbury," Sophie Goldschmidt, RFU Chief Commercial Officer, said.

"The brand is recognised by players and fans alike and its heritage in rugby is unrivalled. The excellent quality of playing apparel Canterbury is famed for will also ensure the England teams have the best technical kit available to assist them on and off the pitch. This new exciting partnership will allow the Rugby Football Union to further invest in the game."

Chris Stephenson, CEO of Canterbury, said: "The partnership with the Rugby Football Union is the perfect combination of two brands steeped in rugby history that rugby fans know and respect. We are excited at the prospect of developing this relationship and enhancing the awareness of rugby to a wider audience with the aim of increasing participation levels.

"With over a century of experience in producing the highest quality playing apparel, designed specifically to maximise performance, we pride ourselves on producing the strongest, most technologically advanced kits available."

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