The 2011 Churchill Cup returns to England in less than a month – and Sixways Stadium for Finals Day on June 18 – as the host nation look to retain the trophy. Now in its ninth year, the Churchill Cup makes its way back to England from its traditional North American base for the first time since 2007.
Making their competition debut are Tonga and Italy A, who will join England Saxons, USA and Canada as well as Russia over the two week tournament beginning on June 4.
With the Rugby World Cup starting in September, this year’s Churchill Cup provides an ideal pre-tournament team warm up opportunity for the participants to knock on the selectors’ door to represent their country in New Zealand.
RFU Head of Elite Player Development Stuart Lancaster explained: “It’s a crucial competition for England Saxons, especially in a World Cup year as it gives Martin Johnson and the other coaches a look at some players who might force their way into the squad for New Zealand. We will look forward to meeting the USA again and with Tonga joining it will a great opportunity for the players to benchmark themselves against teams who will be preparing for and competing in the World Cup.
“The home support is going to be crucial through the tournament and in helping us to retain the trophy. The competition will take place over some fantastic venues, including Sixways Stadium, so it’s a perfect opportunity for rugby supporters to come watch some International action in the domestic off-season.”
Paul Vaughan, the RFU’s Business Operations Director and a member of the Churchill Cup Executive, said: “With no summer tour for England this June is a great opportunity to for rugby fans to see six quality international teams on their doorstep. With England playing Wales at Twickenham in an Investec International on August 6 in preparation for the World Cup, there will be plenty of top class action available to the rugby fan.”
Tickets are on sale NOW for Finals Day in the Churchill Cup at Sixways on Saturday, June 18.