The Rugby World Cup will see the Rugby Football Union bring out six different England shirts in just over 15 months, it has emerged.
Those wanting exact replicas of the most up-to-date jerseys could be forced to fork out almost £550 during that time after the RFU claimed it had little choice but to launch new kits for this year’s tournament.
The governing body’s deal with Canterbury is for two strips per season but it said England were unable to have sponsors O2 on their shirts during the World Cup, meaning an additional two being released before September at prices ranging from £50-£90.99.
The current jersey, featuring the controversial Victoria Cross motif, only came out four months ago, while another double kit launch is said to be planned ahead of the 2016 Six Nations.
An RFU spokesman told the Daily Mail: “We have brought out one new home and alternate strip each season for the last five years, as is normal across the sports industry. The prices have remained unchanged for three years and every penny made is invested back into the game.”
Shadow sports minister Clive Efford said: “Merchandising is an important part of sport but governing bodies must be responsible and help fans and parents by showing restraint.”
The RFU signed a four-year kit deal with Canterbury, said to be worth more than £5million a year, in March 2012.