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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 April, 2005, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Guinness to sponsor Premiership
Premier Rugby chiefs have confirmed that Guinness will be the new title sponsor of the English Premiership.

Guinness's parent company Diageo Great Britain has signed a four-year deal with Premier Rugby worth more than 20m, which will start next season.

Zurich has been sponsor of the English Premiership since 2000, but decided it would not be renewing last October.

"I am delighted that we have agreed this deal with Guinness," said Premier Rugby chief executive Howard Thomas.

"We look forward to working with them to grow the club game in England still further.

"On a personal note, I would like to thank Zurich for their invaluable support and we will be working together to ensure their final season is one that their long-term commitment to club rugby in England deserves."

Zurich's sponsorship of the competition will officially end at the Premiership final on 14 May.

"We have a long and happy association with rugby in the United Kingdom, and rugby fans will find us a dedicated and responsible sponsor with a passionate and genuine interest in the game," said Guinness marketing director Nick Robinson.

"Zurich have made a major contribution to rugby during their tenure as sponsor, and it is our intention to build on the great work that they have already done."

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