24 Oct 2008

Launceston All Blacks face legal action from NZRU

7:58 am on 24 October 2008

English National League Two rugby side Launceston have been threatened with legal action by the New Zealand Rugby Union after trying to register their All Blacks nickname as a trademark.

The Cornish All Blacks, as they have been known since forming in 1948, ran into trouble when they attempted to register their name at the UK Patent Office.

New Zealand rugby's trademark agents have warned that they are prepared to take legal action in order to safeguard the All Blacks name.

The Launceston president Tony Randel says it has got pretty heavy, they're still in negotiations with them and they hope that they can reach an agreement.

At this stage the Cornish club are prepared to fight their battle, citing other clubs, such as Gosford All Blacks in Oxford and Neath - better known as the Welsh All Blacks - in an attempt to persuade New Zealand to let their name stand.

Launceston, who had a season in National One before being relegated last April, have played in all black kit throughout their history and legend has it that their first shirts and shorts were made from old black-out curtains.