Hill and Knowlton has been hired by the Rugby Football Union to work on next year's Six Nations tournament.
The agency has also been hired to handle corporate PR for the governing body of English rugby. Alun James, who joined H&K from the International Tennis Federation (PR Week, 26 May), will lead the account, reporting to Richard Prescott, director of communications at the RFU.
There was no pitch for the business, which is handled by H&K's sports marketing division. James said: 'It consolidates work we have undertaken for other sports governing bodies, including the England and Wales Cricket Board and the International Olympic Committee.'
The Six Nations PR campaign aims to broaden the appeal of rugby among 15- to 24-year-olds and will target youth and lifestyle media. Associate director Josie Stevens said there would be promotion of individual England players.
The biggest splash in terms of recent rugby publicity was the drug allegations surrounding former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio.
The annual Six Nations tournament involves England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy.