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Warning over World Cup tickets

Rugby World Cup chiefs have warned fans not to buy tickets from unofficial sources after it emerged that a single ticket for the final had been advertised for £59,000.

The category A ticket, which has a face value of £715, was up for sale on a secondary ticket website, StubHub.co.uk, for roughly 82 times its original price. The site also has category D tickets for the final at Twickenham on October 31 which originally cost £125 for sale for £7,500, some 60 times the face value. After being contacted, StubHub removed the listing of the final ticket on its site.

Debbie Jevans, chief executive of England 2015 Rugby World Cup, said organisers hoped new legislation forcing secondary websites to publish the exact row and seat number would prove a deterrent - people buying tickets from unofficial sources can be refused entrance.

Jevans told Press Association Sport: "Our message is to buy those tickets through the official sources - not least to ensure that it is a genuine ticket and not a fraudulent one, and to ensure fans are not ripped off.

"The new legislation means secondary ticket websites will have to show the row, the seat and access of that ticket. That brings greater transparency which will allow us to have more exposure to who is selling those tickets and at what price.

"We will be monitoring these sites, this gives us the ability to do so to a greater degree and we do reserve the right to refuse access.

"Our terms and conditions reserve the right not to allow access if that ticket is sold through an unofficial source.

"We have the ability to track the tickets down."

Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, chief executive of StubHub International, said the site had taken action to remove the ticket.

She said: "We are contacting the seller to remind them that whilst we are an open marketplace, tickets listed at vastly inflated prices never, ever sell on StubHub - even to high demand events such as the Rugby World Cup Final. The ticket listed at £59,000 has been removed."

Meanwhile, Jevans said the success of the Rugby World Cup, which is being hosted by England in the autumn with some matches in Wales, will not depend on whether Stuart Lancaster's side make it through their tough group.

England are in Pool A along with Australia and Wales, with only two countries going through to the quarter-finals.

World Rugby's chief executive Brett Gosper, an Australian, reacted to England's early exit from the Cricket World Cup by tweeting: "England fail to exit pool in World Cup?...?not the words we want to hear during #RWC2015."

Jevans said: "Of course you think about it when you look at the tough group England are in and the impact that may or may not have, but from our perspective it doesn't make a difference.

"As a fan I would be very upset but from a delivery perspective we are looking at it being about 20 teams and ensuring they can all compete to the best of their ability.

"We want to celebrate the sport and our focus is not about who wins or who is the final. When you look at the ticket sales we have only 10 matches left with tickets available and I think that demonstrates the country is getting behind the event, so I am not at all concerned about England being the sole focus."

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said last week he was "surprised" by the tweet, adding: "Probably the head of World Rugby doesn't need to be doing that, but that's his own personal views and his own personal decision."

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