Lucozade maker GlaxoSmithKline has agreed a four-year sponsorship deal with the England rugby team.

The deal ties all levels of the England national set-up to both Lucozade Sport and the Maximuscle sports nutrition brand GSK bought for £162m in late 2010.

Despite England’s poor showing at last year’s World Cup, when the team was plagued by dismal form and a string of off-field scandals, GSK’s Peter Harding insisted now was a “a promising time for not only the senior England team but English rugby as a whole”.

He added: “GSK are positive that our significant experience in delivering outstanding sports nutrition will help the team maximise its potential, starting with the RBS 6 Nations [next month].”

“Lucozade Sport and Maximuscle are leaders in their field and are highly respected within the industry,” said RFU commercial chief Sophie Goldschmidt.

“This partnership will benefit all levels of the RFU’s elite game, providing products and tailored nutritional expertise to England’s senior, Saxons, sevens and women’s squads.”