Fans risked having their tickets cancelled
The Australian Rugby Union and the British and Irish Lions have warned fans to ensure they are dealing only with official travel and hospitality providers in the countdown to the highly-anticipated 2013 Lions tour to Australia.
The Lions will descend on Australian shores for the first time since 2001, when they embark on the nine-match tour in June next year.
ARU Acting CEO Matt Carroll said the tour will be the biggest rugby event staged in Australia since the 2003 World Cup.
He has also issued a warning to supporters, both here and overseas, to be aware that only official providers can supply them with travel and hospitality packages.
"For those people outside Australia, they should be cognisant that the only way they can purchase tickets directly is through an Official Travel Agent," Carroll added.
"If you are not in Australia you will not be able to purchase tickets through ticketing agent websites.
"For anyone purchasing travel or hospitality to next years' tour they need to ensure providers have official standing with ARU and the Lions."
Greg Thomas, Head of Communications for the Lions, said British and Irish fans risked having their tickets cancelled, or not receiving their tickets at all if they don't purchase through the official travel partner, Lions rugby Travel or any of its appointed agents.
"We want to ensure all fans planning to attend next year's Lions tour to Australia aren't disappointed because of potential ticket mishaps with unsanctioned agents," Thomas said.
"It's the Lions' 125th anniversary tour next year and it's been 12 Years since the Lions last toured to Australia so we're expecting travel and hospitality to be in high demand.
"It's an historic occasion and I'm sure no fan will want to miss out because they booked through an unofficial source.
"Official providers not only supply the guarantee of your place on the Tour, many also come with a whole range of exclusive and specialized benefits that unauthorised parties can't provide," Thomas said.