Guinness is to become the new title sponsor of the UK's premiership rugby union competition. The agreement is valued at over £20m and the Zurich Premiership will be renamed at the end of the current season to become The Guinness Premiership for the start of the 2005/2006 season.

Jon Varney, commercial director at Premier Rugby said: "Our partnership with Guinness is an exciting one and we look forward to working together in the coming months. To have a global brand with the stature of Guinness on board is a ringing endorsement of the success and growth of Premiership rugby in England."

Nick Robinson, Guinness marketing director said: "We are delighted to have signed this agreement with Premier Rugby to become title sponsor of The Guinness Premiership, the world's leading domestic rugby union competition, in what is the number two sport in the UK.

"We have a long and happy association with rugby in the UK, and rugby fans will find us a dedicated and responsible sponsor with a passionate and genuine interest in the game. Our aim is to work with the clubs to build excitement around the games themselves to enhance the fans' experience as  much as possible."