Rugby Union

RFU apologises for England shirt design

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Football News

The Rugby Football Union have apologised for any offence caused by England's new home kit which features the Victoria Cross, reports BBC Sport.

The kit was launched this week but immediately came under instant pressure for depicting the iconing Cross, which is the British and Commonwealth armed forces' most prestigious medal - awarded just 1,354 times during its 158-year existence.

England's latest shirt, made by sports manufacturers Canterbury, features rubber grips shaped in the form of the Victoria Cross.

'Touched a nerve'

Victoria Cross Trust chairman Gary Stapleton fiercely criticised the RFU after the game's governing body demonstrated a lack of contact in using the emblem on the new shirt.

Stapleton told the Daily Telegraph: "It's very frustrating when you see the image being used for marketing purposes.

"I think about how much work we put in and the volunteers put in and the work we do restoring the VC graves, and here's an organisation that's probably going to make quite a large amount of money from sales of said shirts.

"It would've been a bit more appropriate if they'd said they'd like to do this because they believe what the Victoria Cross represents and would like to benefit a charity that does actually care about the history of the VC."


The criticism has come from all parts of the rugby world and it prompted the RFU to make a statement, which read: "We would like to apologise to those who may have taken offence with our new kit.

"We are huge supporters of our service personnel and respect and value their support for England.

"We will be contacting the Victoria Cross Trust and the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association to see how we can also support their worthwhile work going forwards."

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The shirt itself has already caused uproar after it was announced that a replica will cost up to £91, despite a new one being available in just 10 months time.

England will wear their new kit for the first time in the eagerly anticipated clash with world champions New Zealand at Twickenham on November 8.

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