RWC fans urged to avoid touts
Tickets for next year's Rugby World Cup go on sale on Friday with fans being warned they can be refused entry if they buy them from unlicensed sources.
England Rugby 2015 failed to persuade the Government to make touting of Rugby World Cup tickets illegal, but under their organisers' terms and conditions anyone buying a ticket from an unauthorised outlet can be refused entry to the stadium.
The ticket agency Ticketmaster has brought in measures to combat secondary agencies using sophisticated software to flood their website with ticket applications for high-demand games.
England Rugby 2015 communications director Joanna Manning-Cooper said: "Fans should only buy through official sources. Our ticketing terms and conditions are strict and we reserve the right to refuse entry if tickets have not been purchased through official channels.
"We are doing everything we can to make sure tickets get into the hands of fans who want to come to the tournament, and not to touts who simply want to sell them on at a profit."
Some secondary agencies are already offering tickets for sale even though none are yet available, based solely on the expectation they will be able to get some. Viagogo, for example, is advertising a category C ticket for the final for £3,278.99 - more than 10 times the £315 face value - even though none have yet been sold to the public.
There are also fears of touts taking money for tickets that do not exist. Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington's parents were victims of a fraud at the Beijing Games which led to a tout being jailed for eight years for selling seats that never existed.
England 2015's ticket sales window will be open until September 29 with any over-subscribed matches being decided via a ballot.
Official prices range from £15 - or £7 for a child - for the low-profile group games up to £715 for the best seats at the final at Twickenham. The cheapest adult ticket to watch an England group game will be £75, the cheapest for Wales and Ireland matches £50, but Scotland fans will only have to pay £20 for the category D tickets against Japan and the USA.
England Rugby 2015 have to raise £250million from tickets to cover the cost of the tournament and pay the International Rugby Board £80million under the hosting agreement, meaning the average ticket will cost around £100. Organisers say almost a quarter of all tickets will be under £50 however.
An England Rugby 2015 spokeswoman said: "We have worked hard to create as many low priced tickets as we can - and prices start at £7 for children and £15 for adults. Over half a million tickets will cost £50 or less - but it is a balance as ticketing revenue is our only revenue stream to fund the tournament.
"The pool stages of the tournament will have a much lower average price than the knockout stage of the tournament, where prices are generally higher."