10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
With RWC billed as the world's third most important sporting event, association with rugby's premier Tournament is highly prized. It appeals to many corporates in Australia and world wide.
However, this association is strictly limited to an elite group of national and international blue chip brands, and Dr. Millar emphasised the importance and value of the contribution made by the Official Partners and Suppliers of RWC 2003.
"The cornerstone of the commercial programme has been the robust protection of its integrity and the exclusive association with the event by product category. This commercial foresight has created an ideal environment for companies to promote their brands in the market place.
"The global expansion and development of the game are directly linked to the revenues which flow from the commercial programme of Rugby World Cup. It is therefore of paramount importance for RWC not only to protect its brand, but to ensure that the benefits to the investors are unsullied by ambush marketing activities.
"RWC has a dedicated team working to combat all forms of illicit marketing tactics. It is working closely with the Official Law Firm Allens Arthur Robinson, commercial brokers IMG and the Australian Rugby Union".
John O'Neill, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Australian Rugby Union said, 'The ARU as Host Union of Rugby World Cup 2003 fully supports the Tournament's commercial programme and the commitment to stamp out ambush marketing around the Tournament. We will cooperate fully with Rugby World Cup Limited to ensure that the commercial rights of the official RWC partners are protected against infringement, regardless of its source.'
Dr Millar continued," We have an unrivalled global television schedule in place, a Host Union which has exceeded its targets in all areas, and an impressive level of ticket sales through official ticketing outlets and the hospitality and international travel programmes. Rest assured that our team will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the Tournament and its stakeholders from those who seek to profit from the game without contributing anything to it."
The support which Rugby World Cup's Official Partners and Suppliers provide to RWC 2003 directly benefits the growth and development of Rugby Union worldwide. The surplus revenues generated by the Tournament will be distributed by the International Rugby Board and will help to fund countless rugby projects throughout the 96 Member Unions.