The Rugby Football Union has revealed an unusual addition to its team, with Ruckley the animated English bull dog unveiled as the official ambassador for children’s rugby.
Ruckley, the rugby shirt wearing character, was presented at a press conference at Twickenham Stadium, where it was revealed he will head the Kids First Rugby initiative.
Ruckley will appear on all materials used by coaches, parents and young players, he will also front the England Rugby junior supporters club.
Furthermore, the RFU has signed with Rainbow Productions as its first Ruckley licensee to produce a bespoke costume character, while CPLG UK is working with both new and existing England Rugby licensees to create an initial range of Ruckley merchandise ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
Jane Barron, RFU licensing and marketing manager, said: "Ruckley is much more than just a mascot. He will be used to bring to life rugby for children aged five to eleven and embedded across everything we do in this area.
"As well as helping make the sport more engaging and easier to understand for our young fans, Ruckley’s first job will be to help explain and promote Kids First Rugby.
"This is a new approach to the way mini rugby is played, which aims to enhance the rugby experience for young players, coaches and parents to help keep more players in the game."