5 Oct 2011

Ambush marketing denied

1:07 pm on 5 October 2011

A mouthguard manufacturer at the centre of two fines handed out to Rugby World Cup players this week has responded to speculation that the company was involved in ambush marketing.

England centre Manu Tuilagi has been fined $NZ10,000 by Rugby World Cup officials for wearing a sponsored mouthguard.

His elder brother Alesana was previously sanctioned for the same offence while playing for Samoa.

But OPRO, the British company which supplies the mouthguards, denied it's been involved in guerrilla marketing.

Managing director Dr Anthony Lovat says it has in no way encouraged any player to wear its branded mouthguards during any international rugby play and would never be involved in ambush marketing.

In addition to offering to pay the players' fines, he said OPRO will supply any player in the tournament with an unbranded replacement mouthguard.