Counterfeiters have wasted little time in offering up their own cheap versions of the All Blacks' new look for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Cheap knock-offs of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup gear have appeared for sale online – just a week after the striking new look was revealed.
New Zealand Rugby and adidas launched the official new jerseys – which feature hand-drawn koru and fern patterns – to much fanfare on July 1.
But within a week of the release of the jerseys - which have a RRP of $150 for a looser fit fan's version and $200 for a replica of the actual playing version – cheap knock-offs have appeared for sale online in China.
Mufasa Sports is offering versions of both the home (black) and away (white) strips the All Blacks will wear at the upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan, as well as the side's new blue-coloured training jersey.
Prices range from $37 for a single item, down to just $23 a jersey for wholesale lots of 54 or more. There is no shipping charge.
Mufasa Sports – which has its base listed as Guangdong, China, did not respond to an approach for comment from the Herald on Sunday.
While their offerings featured the fern and koru patterns across the jersey, the Rugby World Cup logo on the right chest and the years the All Blacks had won the tournament, they do not feature the silver fern on the left chest.
Another Chinese-based seller, Xiaochouya2, was also selling fully-tagged fake All Black Rugby World Cup replicas; with costs ranging from $34 for a single jersey down to $20 for bulk buys of 100 items or more.
It, too, did not respond to an approach for comment.
All Blacks heap praise on 'primo' World Cup jersey
And New Zealand Rugby or adidas also did not want to engage over the latest counterfeit offerings based on the popular-selling rugby replicas.
But earlier this year both spoke of their frustrations about cheap knock-off gear being sold online.
"It's important Kiwis recognise that by buying fake product they're not supporting their favourite team, quite the opposite," adidas' New Zealand country manager Quentin Bleakley told the Herald on Sunday.
"They're impacting the deals that help grow the sport."
NZ Rugby's lucrative deal with adidas – first signed in 1999 – is estimated to be worth at least $10 million annually.
Bleakley said at the time that adidas was "very familiar" with websites selling cheap All Black-branded fakes.
"There's a reason why it's cheap, the quality of the goods is always poor and leaves Kiwis ultimately disappointed."
NZ Rugby's chief commercial officer Richard Thomas said: "Sadly it's not a new behaviour to have unscrupulous operators trying to leverage our brand and those of our sponsor products to peddle their fake products."
Prior to a Herald on Sunday investigation earlier this year, adidas' chief executive Kasper Rorsted had gone public that 10 per cent of gear featuring his company's world-famous logo in Asia were most probably rip-offs. That included products being sold both in stores and online.
And Canadian lawyer David Lipkus – who has worked with top sports leagues in their crackdown against counterfeit gear – described the fight as like "whack-a-mole".
"Every time you take down 10 or 15 sites, another 100 or 200 crop up," he told the TSN Hockey website.
Within a week of adidas and NZ Rugby being alerted to various fake products being sold online from $38, the website offering them was taken down.
But just as quickly, several others appeared selling the same counterfeit gear but for just $20.
In the lead-up to the 2014 football World Cup in Brazil, a staggering seven million fake items - including team shirts - were seized by Chinese customs officials.