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Gartmore muscles in on rugby fever

The rugby bandwagon continues to roll. Latest to declare their new love of the game are fund managers Gartmore. The recipient of Gartmore's contribution is that venerable rugby institution the Barbarians. The club, founded in 1890, is most widely lauded for its 1973 match against the New Zealand All Blacks in which Gareth Edwards scored arguably the greatest ever try.

Gartmore's name will be splashed across the club's famous black-and-white-hooped jerseys for at least the next two years.

It is following the lead of such financial services firms as RBS, which backs the Six Nations championship; Zurich which supports the English premiership; and Investec, which sponsors autumn internationals at Twickenham.

Glyn Jones, chief executive at Gartmore, says this is the firm's first foray into rugby sponsorship. "Our key values are closely aligned ? both brands stand for heritage, trust and loyalty," he says.

But things don't always work out so well for rugby sponsors. Vodafone, which has backed the Australian national side for six years, is dumping the Wallabies, who so narrowly lost the world cup final.

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