5 Oct 2011

Mouthguard manufacturer denies ambush claims

7:12 am on 5 October 2011

The mouthguard manufacturer at the centre of two fines handed out to World Cup rugby players this week has hit out at claims the company was involved in ambush marketing.

The England centre Manu Tuilagi has been fined NZ 10,000 by Rugby World Cup officials for wearing a sponsored mouthguard, just a week after his elder brother Alesana was sanctioned for the same offence while playing for Samoa, leading to speculation that it was an intentional sponsorship breach.

But the British company OPRO who supplies the mouthguards has denied its been involved in guerrilla marketing.

In a press statement issued on behalf of the company 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.

He says in addition to offering to pay the players' fines, OPRO will now supply any player in the 2011 tournament with an unbranded replacement mouthguard.