The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has launched its own official ticket exchange in an effort to combat touts.

Rugby union’s governing body in England has made it clear in a statement that resale websites such as Viagogo, StubHub, Gumtree, eBay, or Live Rugby Tickets have no association or official arrangement with the RFU and “often market tickets that do not exist on a speculative basis and at inflated prices”.

The statement from the RFU said: “The RFU actively monitors unofficial ticketing sites and will cancel any tickets that are sold or transferred via the secondary market without liability.”

The RFU is instead encouraging its fans to use its free and official resale channel, which is found on the Ticketing Help section of the England Rugby ticket website.

Stephen Brown, the RFU’s chief executive, said: “Fans buying or selling tickets through unofficial channels are at risk of hugely inflated prices, mis-selling and fraud.

“We want people to be aware of our ticket policy and not risk their money by either unauthorised re-selling or buying tickets through unofficial means. We understand that not everyone who purchases a ticket is always able to attend on the day. Our ticket exchange ensures they can hand their ticket back and other fans can purchase at the correct price.”

The RFU states that at least 50 per cent of Twickenham’s 82,000 tickets for every international are sold direct to the clubs, constituent bodies, referee societies, universities, colleges and schools.

The governing body added that the money generated from ticket sales and memberships goes directly into upgrading facilities and rugby clubs around the country, “providing coaches, developing the next generation of players, rewarding volunteers, artificial grass pitches and ultimately supporting the England teams at all levels”.