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RFU sorry over use of Victoria Cross on England kit

England's rugby union governing body has apologised "to those who may have taken offence" to the use of the Victoria Cross on the national side's new playing kit.

England's new Canterbury-manufactured shirts feature Victoria Cross designs that comprise numerous small rubber grips to help deaden the impact of the ball.

The new England kit features numerous small Victoria Cross designs. Credit: PA Wire

Victoria Cross Trust chairman Gary Stapleton criticised the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for having had no contact with the organisation over using the emblem on the kit, which was officially launched earlier this week.

Stapleton said the move "touched a raw nerve with a lot of people."

In a statement, the RFU said:

We would like to apologise to those who may have taken offence with our new kit. It was certainly never our intention to cause this.

We are huge supporters of our service personnel and respect and value their support for England.

We will be contacting the Victoria Cross Trust and the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association to see how we can support their worthwhile work going forwards.

– RFU statement

The Victoria Cross, the British and Commonwealth armed forces' most prestigious medal, has only been awarded 1,354 times during its 158-year existence, most recently in 2012.

The new white England shirt will be worn for the first time when the side begin their autumn Test schedule aganist world champions New Zealand at Twickenham on November 8.

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