England Rugby has announced a five year deal with Opta to become the official statisticians to the RFU and Premier Rugby. Opta will manage and distribute team and player performance statistics for England, England A, the Zurich Premiership, Zurich Championship and Powergen Cup games. The deal takes effect from August 2002 and runs to the end of the 2007 RWC.

The statistics will be made available to all Zurich Premiership club coaches and commercial departments for use on their websites, in their match programmes and official magazines. Match preview media bulletins will be produced and a live broadcast service will also be available for TV rights holders.

Paul Vaughan, Commercial Director of the RFU said, ‘This is an excellent deal for our senior clubs and our national teams. The information Opta provides is of the highest quality and its versatility means that it can be used by a number of agencies in a variety of ways. The statistics will provide invaluable information for coaches, the media and commercial departments within the clubs.

‘To gain further mutual benefit from the deal, England Rugby will have the opportunity to organise an annual coaching forum to evaluate all Opta services. England Rugby and the Zurich Premiership will benefit from a percentage of all content and sponsorship sales.’

Mark Pearman, Managing Director of Opta said, ‘The deal with England Rugby provides us not only with a prestigious high profile partner but one with which we can work to fully exploit what we can offer the game. Our Rugby Union service is sponsored by Orange and the statistics and information they provide regarding the performance of a squad or individual player are becoming increasingly important and our aim is to offer the best service available.’

For more details contact:

RFU Media Office: Tel: 0208 831 6513/6514/6558/6626
Premier Rugby: Tel: 0208 831 6727