Australian rugby boss Matt Carroll has echoed the message hammered home by his British & Irish Lions equivalent, John Feehan, in warning fans to only deal with official travel and hospitality providers in the countdown to the highly-anticipated 2013 Lions Tour.
The 125th anniversary tour will feature nine matches in Australia and the acting CEO Carroll is describing the tour as "the biggest Rugby event staged in Australia since the 2003 Rugby World Cup."
He has also issued a warning to rugby supporters, both at home 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," said Carroll.
"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 British & Irish Lions on next summer's tour, said British and Irish fans risked having their tickets cancelled, or not receiving their tickets at all, if they didn't purchase through the Lions' 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. It's the Lions' 125th anniversary tour next year and it's been 12 Years since the Lions last toured in Australia, so we're expecting travel and hospitality to be in high demand," said Thomas.
"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."
Lions Rugby Travel has a range of more than 60 tour options available now on lionstour.com. Tickets for all nine matches go on sale to the Australian general public on Monday 18 February 2013 - information about tickets and hospitality for Australian residents is available here.