Friday, June 17, 2011

2011 Churchill Cup Final

The 2011 Churchill Cup Champion will be crowned on Saturday with the England Saxons looking to repeat their success from 2010 by defeating Canada in what is to be a repeat fixture. The final is to be played at Sixways Stadium in Worcester and will be a part of a three match finals day with Tonga taking on Italy A and the USA facing Russia. Canada have named a strong side, albeiut not at full strenght given the unavaliablity of some players due to injury. While the Saxons lineup is a mixture of youth and experience of some future England international players and some who have represented England and others who will make the World Cup squad. Canada´s lineup includes eight players from the win over Russia and twelve from the win over Italy A. In talking with the official home of Canadian rugby,, coach Kieran Crowley stated that “It's the best squad available to us and it's a matter of managing the players we have. They're ready to go. If we can match them around the set piece I believe we'll be right in this game.”

The English side will be favorites to win another Churchill Cup as they have won five of the nine championships since the tournament began. Canada have named an attacking backlien to try to win the tournament including Matt Evans playing fullback and Ryan Smith at inside centre. The most interesting part of the game to watch, however, will be how Canada perform in the backrow as it has named a strong backrow which got the better of both Italy A and Russia and looms as the North Americans best weapon come New Zealand 2011.
Prediction: Canada to push the English hard in the first half but in the end go down by around 15 points as the superior fitness of the Saxons should see them home.

England Saxons

15 Mike Brown (Harlequins)
14 Charlie Sharples (Gloucester)
13 Henry Trinder (Gloucester)
12 Billy Twelvetrees (Leicester Tigers)
11 Miles Benjamin (Worcester Warriors)
10 Rory Clegg (Harlequins)
9 Paul Hodgson (London Irish)
8 Jordan Crane captain (Leicester Tigers)
7 Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
6 James Gaskell (Sale Sharks)
5 Graham Kitchener (Worcester Warriors)
4 Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
3 Matt Stevens (Saracens)
2 David Paice (London Irish)
1 Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors)

Reserves: 16 Joe Gray (Harlequins), 17 Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby), 18 Jamie Gibson (London Irish), 19 Carl Fearns (Sale Sharks), 20 Micky Young (Newcastle Falcons), 21 Alex Goode (Saracens), 22 Topsy Ojo (London Irish)


1 Hubert Buydens (Prairie Wolf Pack)
2 Pat Riordan captain (B.C. Bears)
3 Jason Marshall (B.C. Bears)
4 Brian Erichsen (B.C. Bears)
5 Jamie Cudmore (Clermont, France)
6 Jebb Sinclair (The Rock)
7 Chauncey O'Toole (The Rock)
8 Aaron Carpenter (Plymouth Albion, England)
9 Sean White (B.C. Bears)
10 Ander Monro (Ontario Blues)
11 James Pritchard (Bedford Blues, England)
12 Ryan Smith (Prairie Wolf Pack)
13 Phil Mackenzie (Esher, England)
14 Ciaran Hearn (The Rock)
15 Matt Evans (Newport Gwent Dragons)

Reserves: 16 Andrew Tiedemann (Prairie Wolf Pack), 17. Scott Franklin (Prairie Wolf Pack), 18 Tyler Hotson (Plymouth Albion, England), 19 Nanyak Dala (Prairie Wolf Pack), 20 Jamie Mackenzie (Esher, England) 21 Nathan Hirayama (B.C. Bears), 22. Conor Trainor (B.C. Bears)

England Saxons vs Tonga

Canada vs Russia

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