Mouthguard manufacturer to pay fines of Tuilagi brothers
Wed, 05 Oct 2011 11:19a.m.
Manu Tuilagi (Reuters)
OPRO the mouthguard manufacturer at the centre of two fines handed out to rugby players this week will pay the fines handed to England’s Manu Tuilagi and Samoa’s Alesana Tuilagi.
In addition to offering to pay the players' fines, OPRO will now supply any player in the 2011 tournament with an unbranded replacement mouthguard, says Dr Lovat.
The mouthguard manufacturer has also hit out at claims the company was involved in ambush marketing.
OPRO, a favourite of some of New Zealand's most famous international rugby stars is the largest supplier of mouthguards worldwide.
The British company, with a Queen's Award for Innovation for work in improving children's and sports players' oral protection, has this week come under fire with suggestions it may have been involved in guerrilla marketing.
OPRO Managing Director Dr Anthony Lovat says he is horrified at such an assertion and the company has, in no way encouraged any player to wear its branded mouthguards during any international rugby tournament play.
"OPRO is a professional organisation and has never, and would never be involved in ambush marketing activities," he says.
Dr Lovat, who has custom-made mouthguards for some of New Zealand's most capped rugby greats, says many international players choose OPRO's over competing brands due to the high quality, protection and comfort of the guards.
"As a dentist I want to do my upmost to protect players' teeth, whether that is children at weekend fixtures or the international rugby elite, all deserve to have the very best oral protection possible," says Dr Lovat.