England team show French connection

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Suave French clothing co Eden Park are to become the England rugby team's official outfitter as part of a deal that extends through to and includes the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The agreement with the Rugby Football Union means that players and staff, right down to the Under 18 level, will be clad in the fashion firm's formalwear for the next six years.

Eden Park's owner, Franck Mensel, is himself an ex-international rugby union player, has overseen the appearance of both the Welsh team and the British & Irish Lions.

They also have links with the French Rugby Federation, French Union side, Oxford and Cambridge universities, and Parisian club Racing Metro 92.

The collection produced for the Rugby Football Union won't feature the hallmark pink of most Eden Park products - instead, grey suits, white shirts and striking red ties, reflecting England's traditional colors.

Previously, department store chain Marks & Spencer were the team's official suppliers, and in 2007 had signed a three-year deal to become the national soccer team's official tailor.