Churchill Cup 2010

Ultimate Rugby Calendar

Summer Tours 2012

Super Rugby

Top 14

The Rugby ChampionshipBarbariansAviva Premiership Rugby

Heineken Cup

Amlin Challenge Cup

RaboDirect Pro12

RBS Six Nations

LV= Cup [Anglo-Welsh]

EccellenzaSevens UnpluggedCurrie CupITM Cup [NZ]

Rugby World Cup Home

RWC Warm Up Matches

Tri Nations 2011

Magners League

Autumn Internationals 2010

Summer Tours 2010



Match Reports

Naked Truth


Pass It Back...Kick It Forward


Match Reports

Churchill Cup 2011

CanadaEngland SaxonsItalyRussiaTongaUSA Rugby

ScheduleChurchill Cup ResultsStandingsNewsTickets


Churchill Cup SCHEDULEChurchill Cup 2011 Fixtures & Results

Churchill Cup RESULTS


England SaxonsENGLAND SAXONS 37 - 6 CANADACanada

MILES BENJAMIN scored two spectacular tries on his home ground to earn England Saxons a sixth and final Churchill Cup title.

Churchill Cup England Saxons v Canada Final

The Worcester Warriors wing raced 70 metres for a first half interception try – then soared to claim Rory Clegg’s superb cross-kick and put the Saxons out of sight on the hour.

Sale Sharks flanker James Gaskell, Gloucester wing Charlie Sharples and London Irish flanker Jamie Gibson also touched down with Harlequins fly half Clegg adding three conversions and two penalties against a hard-nosed Canada side that proved tough to break down.

They responded with a first-half drop goal from fly half Ander Munro and a penalty from James Pritchard but couldn’t turn some thrilling counter-attacks into points on the board.

The Saxons had broken a Churchill Cup points record with their 13-try 87-8 win over the USA and followed it up with a 41-14 win against Tonga that included three penalty tries.

Canada, though, are a level above both those teams at 15th in the IRB rankings and recognised as a well-organised side with a mean-spirited defence which they underlined for long spells at Sixways.

So while the Saxons enjoyed plenty of early possession, they only had Rory Clegg’s penalty – cancelled out by Munro’s drop goal – in the bank after the opening 20 minutes.

They broke the deadlock with one superb score – Jordan Crane, Mike Brown and James Gaskell combining down the left for Sale Sharks flanker Gaskell to score in the right hand corner.

Three minutes later it was Gaskell’s defensive pressure that delivered the ball to Benjamin who intercepted and went 80 metres to strike under the posts.

Clegg’s conversion put the Saxons 15-3 ahead but Canada dug in again and Pritchard kicked a 30th minute penalty and missed an equally kickable one shortly before the interval.

Clegg extended the lead with his second penalty 10 minutes into the second half and Canada survived one major scare when the fly half’s angled low kick created mayhem in their defence.

Chauncey O’Toole led one thrilling counter-attack though and Ciaran Hearn produced another surge down the right that threatened to haul Canada back into the game.

But their resistance was finally broken 20 minutes from time by Benjamin’s second score, Clegg’s cross-kick plucked out of the air at full pelt by the Worcester wing.

As the game broke up Canada were punished again as they lost the ball in attack, Mouritz Botha kicking through and Sharples regathering and holding off a tackler to roll over and score.

Gibson added a fifth try five minutes from time, following up to finish things off after Henry Trinder’s lightning break through the middle. 

England Saxons15 Mike Brown 14 Charlie Sharples 13 Henry Trinder 12 Billy Twelvetrees 11 Miles Benjamin 10 Rory Clegg 9 Paul Hodgson 1 Matt Mullan 2 David Paice 3 Matt Stevens 4 Mouritz Botha 5 Graham Kitchener 6 James Gaskell 7 Tom Johnson 8 Jordan Crane [C] BENCH: 16 Joe Gray 17 Nathan Catt 18 Jamie Gibson 19 Carl Fearns 20 Micky Young 21 Alex Goode 22 Topsy Ojo

SCORERS T: Gaskell, Benjamin (2), Sharples, Gibson C: Clegg (3) P: Clegg (2)

Canada1 Hubert Buydens 2 Pat Riordan [C] 3 Jason Marshall 4  Brian Erichsen 5 Jamie Cudmore 6 Jebb Sinclair 7 Chauncey O'Toole 8 Aaron Carpenter 9 Sean White 10 Ander Monro 11 James Pritchard 12 Ryan Smith 13 Phil Mackenzie 14 Ciaran Hearn 15 Matt Evans BENCH: 16 Andrew Tiedemann 17 Scott Franklin 18 Tyler Hotson 19 Nanyak Dala 20 Jamie Mackenzie 21 Nathan Hirayama 22 Conor Trainor

SCORERS P: Pritchard DG: Munro

Referee: Romain Poite (FFR)




TongaTONGA 18 - 27 ITALY A Italy

Churchill Cup Italy A Tonga Plate FinalMARCO BORTOLAMI saluted his Italy A players after they lifted the Churchill Cup Plate at Sixways this afternoon.

The skipper, whose side had spluttered throughout the tournament, came good when it counted with a victory that secured them third place.

“We improved a lot today and we put in a good performance,” said Bortolami. “We have some young players and they need experience. It was terrible against Canada, better against Tonga but today was a real improvement.”

Fly-half Riccardo Bocchino opened the scoring following a dominant scrum from the Italians in the opposition ‘22 and Tito Tebaldi converted.

A penalty from Etimoni Paea narrowed the margin after 16 minutes but was quickly followed by three points from the Azzurri after indiscipline at the breakdown from the Tongans.

Bocchino chipped away at the scoreboard with a second successful penalty, while the Tongans continued to make dents with their typically ferocious tackles but failed to make a further impression on the scoreboard before half-time.

A sprightly start to the second half saw Italy advance further with Tebaldi again slotting his third successful penalty to take his side 13-3 ahead.

With momentum on their side, the Italians found an injection of flair when Joshua Furno’s dummy pass on the wing set Andrea Pratichetti up for the Italians’ second try.

Having struggled to conjure a try during 50 minutes of play, the Tongans showed up in style as Viliami Iongi struck from just inside the 22, weaved through a handful of defenders and scored in the corner. The conversion was missed to leave Tonga 12 points behind.

A period of exchanges between the two sides ended when Etimoni Paea slotted a further three points for the Tongans, narrowing the margin to nine points. 

Giovanbattista Venditti scored a try to equal the panache of Iongi’s, sprinting the length of the pitch to score his side’s third try.  

A try in the closing minutes from Mateo Malupo and a conversion from Kurt Morath was but consolation for Tonga.

Tonga15 M Malupo 14 V Helu 13 S Hufanga 12 T Sili 11 V Iongi 10 E Paea 9 S Havea 1 O Fainga’anuku 2 A Halangahu 3 K Pulu [C] 4 J Afu 5 E Kauhenga 6 S Timani 7 P Kaho 8 P Mapakaitolo BENCH: 16 S Telefoni 17 M Latu 18 P Koloamatangi 19 T Ula 20 D Morath 21 S Fonua 22 K Morath

SCORERS T: Iongi, Malupo C: K Morath P: Paea, K Morath

Italy15 D Gerber 14 G Venditi 13 A Pratichetti 12 A Pratichetti 11 A Esposito 10 R Bocchino 9 T Tebaldi 1 M Aguero 2 T D’Apice 3 F Staibano 4 J Furno 5 M Bortolami [C] 6 L Petillo 7 F Minto 8 M Vosawai BENCH: 16 A Manici 17 A De Marchi 18 D Chistolini 19 V Bernabo 20 G Toniolatti 21 R Trevisan 22 N Belardo

SCORERS T: Bocchino, Pratichetti, Venditti C: Tebaldi (3) P: Tebaldi (2)

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)




USA RugbyUSA EAGLES 32 - 25 RUSSIARussia

Churchill Cup USA Russia Bowl FinalTHE USA Eagles ended their Churchill Cup campaign with a solid 32-25 Bowl Final win over Russia to gain momentum heading to their August fixtures against Canada and Japan. 

“We are delighted to finish the Churchill Cup with a solid win,” said USA Head Coach Eddie O’Sullivan.  “It was hard work, as we expected it would be, and heavy rain before the kickoff made handling difficult. It was a game that could have gone either way especially when it opened up in the second half. But I think we showed great heart and composure to take a late lead and close out the game.”  The coach also cited team cohesion and patience as key ingredients in the USA win.

Lead changes were frequent in the Bowl Final, but USA tenacity and opportunism sealed the victory for the Eagles.  Nerves in the first half may have caused some concern under the high ball and in the set piece and Russia was able to pressure the Eagle defence in those areas, particularly in the first half.

The score was tied 8-8 at halftime following a Paul Emerick try stemming from patient Eagle build up and a Malifa penalty early on in the game.  The Russians crossed the Eagle line by spinning the ball wide and simultaneously drawing in USA defenders by deploying dummy runners in the midfield.  The second half would see the Eagles hit their stride.

Fly half Nese Malifa was the linchpin on attack, his timing in the offload and his precision dropping the ball to boot invoked Russian paranoia that kept the opposition scrambling. Malifa was phenomenal on defence as well and earned Man of the Match honours for his virtuoso display in the number ten jersey.

"Russia had some very physical players, we had to bring the fight to them, we couldn't let them bring the fight to us,” said Malifa after the game.

Captain Todd Clever led the way with the “bring the fight to them” mentality.  He was strong in the contact area and sniffed out two key turnovers in the second half, one of which was for a try.  The Eagles wouldn’t relinquish the lead for the rest of the match.

Blaine Scully, who was called into the squad last week, was very confident and composed in his 2011 Churchill Cup debut at fullback and put his hand for World Cup squad contention.  A run from deep by Scully kick-started a USA counterattack that resulted in a try by Tai Enosa following great offloading and ball movement by the USA centres, Emerick and Andrew Suniula.

Eagles Head Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, acknowledged that Scully answered the call and showed a lot of character in his test debut. 

“There were some great individual performances throughout the team. But special mention must go to Blaine Scully. Starting at fullback in his first test game after being called in as a late injury replacement was a tall order. After a nervous start, he grew in confidence as the game developed and finished really strong,” said the coach.

The USA Eagles meet Russia again on September 15 in the Rugby World Cup 2011.

USA Rugby15 Blaine Scully 14 Colin Hawley 13 Paul Emerick 12 Andrew Suniula 11 Kevin Swiryn 10 Nese Malifa 9 Mike Petri 1 Mate Moeakiola 2 Chris Biller 3 Shawn Pittman 4 John van der Giessen 5 Scott LaValla 6 Inaki Basauri 7 Todd Clever [C] 8 Louis Stanfill BENCH: 16 Phil Thiel 17 Eric Fry 18 Pat Danahy 19 Nic Johnson 20 Tim Usasz 21 Roland Suniula 22 Tai Enosa

SCORERS T: Emerick, Andrew Suniula, Clever, Enosa C: Malifa (3) P: (2)

Russia15 I Klyuchnikov 14 V Artemyev 13 M Babaev 12 A Makovetsky 11 V Ostroushko 10 Y Kushnarev 9 A Shakirov 1 S Popov 2 V Korshunov [C] 3 I Prishchepenko 4 A Voytov 5 D Antonov 6 A Temnov 7 A Garbuzov 8 V Grachev BENCH: 16 V Tsnobiladze 17 A Chernyshev 18 A Panasenko 19 V Gresev 20 A Bykanov 21 A Ryabov 22 I Galinovsky

SCORERS T: Ostroushko, Voytov, Artemyev C: Kushnarev (2) P: Kushnarev (2)

Referee: D Pearson (RFU)



Churchill Cup Tables 2011

Italy ITALY A 24 - 19 RUSSIARussia

KINGSHOLM - Sunday 12th June 2011

Churchill Cup Italy A v RussiaITALY A survived a second half Russian fightback to book their place in the Churchill Cup Plate final.

The Azzurri led 18-6 at the break but they held on by their fingertips in the last 20 minutes to set up a showdown with Tonga at Sixways on Saturday.

Former Gloucester lock Marco Bortolami said: “It was a tough game and in the second half they put some width of the game. But our scrummage was good and gave us a foundation.”

Senior Italian assistant coach Alessandra Troncon: “It was a very important to win because last week we lost to Canada. Russia are in our pool during the World Cup so to win is a good. The scrum saved us a few times so I think it as key for us today.” 

Russia face a Bowl final against their World Cup opponents USA and Bears' boss Kingsley Jones said: “It’s a game we should have won. These lads can really play rugby but there was some naivety and not being street wise. But there are a lot of positives. A lot of the players showed what they can do in open space. The lineout improved but the scrum was an issue for us.”

Italy led by nine at halftime thanks to tries from Matteo Pratichetti and Giulio Toniolatti, who went into the corner after a drive and deft offload from loosehead prop Alberto de Marchi.

Russia had to rely on the boot of Yury Kushnarev, who kicked two penalties and then added a third early in the second half to close the gap to nine points.

Tito Tebaldi landed a third penalty but then the tide turned as Russia scored the try of the match, a breakaway from their own 22 when Andrey Bykanov scooped up a loose ball, fed Kushnarev and when Rushan Yagudin took the ball on halfway he stepped out of the tackle and raced away.

With Tebaldi in the sinbin for killing the ball after Vasily Artemyev’s break, Riccardo Bocchino stretched the lead.

Kushnarev failed with two attempts that could have put Russia right back into the game and was soon replaced by Anton Ryabov.

Tebaldi missed a penalty and Russia almost hit the killer button when Alexander Shakirov made the break and only a last ditch tackle from Matteo Pratichetti stopped him delivering the final pass to Yagudin.    

Russia had a final crack with a free kick which they ran close to the Italian line but they could not capitalise and the chance was lost.  

Italy15 R Trevisan 14 G Toniolatti 13 A Pratichetti 12 A Pratichetti 11 M Sepe 10 R Bocchino 9 T Tebaldi 1 A De Marchi 2 T D’Aspice 3 F Staibano4 J Furno 5 V Bernabo [C] 6 F Minto 7 M Bergamasco 8 M Vosawai BENCH: 16 A Manici 17 M Aguero 18 D Chistolini 19 M Bortolami 20 D Gerber 21 G Venditti 22 N Belardo

SCORERS T: M Pratichetti, Toniolatti C: Tebaldi P: Tebaldi (3), Bocchino Yellow Card Tito Tebaldi

Russia15 I Klyuchnikov 14 V Artemyev 13 M Babaev 12 S Trishin 11 R Yagudin 10 Y Kushnarev 9 A Bykanov 1 G Tsnobiladze 2 V Tsnobiladze 3 A Chernyshev 4 A Panasenko 5 D Antonov 6 V Gresev 7 M Sidorov 8 V Grachev [C] BENCH: 16 V Korshunov 17 A Travkin 18 I Prishchepenko 19 A Garbuzov 20 A Shakirov 21 A Ryabov 22 I Galinovsky

SCORERS T: Yagudin C: Kushnarev P: Kushnarev (4)

Man Of The Match: TBC
Referee: Dave Pearson

England SaxonsENGLAND SAXONS 41 - 14 TONGA Tonga

KINGSHOLM - Sunday 12th June 2011

Churchill Cup England Saxons v TongaENGLAND SAXONS booked their place in the Churchill Cup final against Canada by destroying the Tonga pack in the Kingsholm rain.

Stuart Lancaster’s side were awarded a hat-trick of penalty tries as a Jordan Crane inspired forward effort took Tonga apart with the captain himself and Billy Twelvetrees also getting on the scoresheet.

It sets up a repeat of last year’s final against the Canucks - England won 38-18 - and Saxons Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “I thought our scrummaging was outstanding. We gave a couple of kgs away per man but technically we were better. If you’d have said at the start of the game that we were going to win 41-14 I would have taken that.  Our objective was to reach the final and now we want to win it – last year Canada gave us a real hard game and I am sure it will be the same this time.”

Tonga will now play Italy A or Russia in the Plate final and their coach Isitolo Maka said: “It was a very tough match. I am very disappointed with the penalty tries. Without them we would have been in the game.”

Churchill Cup England Saxons v TongaThe Saxons broke through after just 11 minutes when referee Roman Poite lost patience with the collapsing Tongan scrum and awarded a penalty try which Rory Clegg converted.

And four minutes later they were 14-0 up when Crane picked up and drove over to give Clegg another two points.

Tonga struggled to make any inroads into the Saxons 22 with their only good run coming from centre Suka Hufanga but the move broke down.

The Saxons pack were in the ascendency as they sent the Tongan scrum upwards and backwards and Poite headed to the posts for another penalty try. 

Right on halftime Clegg made it 24-0 with a penalty and the Saxons continued to turn the screw early in the second half when the fly half landed another.

However, Tonga refused to throw in the towel and they were rewarded for their endeavour to take the line-out rather than penalty kick when captain Kisi Pulu took the ball at the back and when the ball was recycled Scarlets bound- Sione Timani drove over.

But it was small respite as the Saxons forwards overpowered their opponents in another scrum and Poite awarded a hat-trick of penalty tries in the 63rd minute and Ofa Fainga'anuku was yellow carded for his sins.

Mike Brown made an impact when he came on and made a midfield break before Crane showed some deft footwork with a grubber-kick for Twelvetrees to gather and score.

That was the end of Twelvetrees’ involvement as he was sent to the sinbin and Pepa Kolomotangi scored a consolation try when he picked up and drove over.   

England Saxons15 Alex Goode 14 Charlie Sharples 13 Henry Trinder 12 Billy Twelvetrees 11 Topsy Ojo 10 Rory Clegg 9 Paul Hodgson 1 Matt Mullan 2 David Paice 3 Matt Stevens 4 Mouritz Botha 5 Dave Attwood 6 James Gaskell 7 Tom Johnson 8 Jordan Crane [C] BENCH: 16 Joe Gray 17 Kieran Brookes 18 Graham Kitchener 19 Jamie Gibson 20 Micky Young 21 Jordan Turner-Hall 22 Mike Brown

SCORERS T: Penalty try (3), Crane, Twelvetrees C: Clegg [5] P: Clegg (2) Yellow Card Billy Twelvetrees

Tonga15 Edmond Paea 14 Viliami Helu 13 Suka Hufanga 12 Sione Fonua 11 Viliami Iongi 10 Kurt Morath 9 Daniel Morath 1 Tonga Lea'aetoa 2 Semisi Telefoni 3 Kisi Pulu [C] 4 Sione Timani 5 Emosi Kauhenga 6 Josh Afu 7 Pepa Koloamatangi 8 Pasuka Mapakaitolo BENCH:  16 Atonio Halangahu 17 Ta'u Fainga'anuku 18 Kele Hehea 19 Tevita Ula 20 Soane Havea 21 Mateo Malupo 22 Sillivenusi Kauhea Taumoepeaul

SCORERS T: Timani, Koloamatangi C: K Morath (2) Yellow Card Ta'u Fainga'anuku

Man Of The Match: Paul Hodgson
Referee: Romain Poite

Tonga TONGA 44 - 13 USA USA Rugby

MOSELEY ROAD - Wednesday 8th June 2011

Churchill Cup Tonga v USAVILIAMI IONGI tore the US Eagles apart with four tries and then brushed off the applause for his eye-catching display on Tonga’s Churchill Cup debut.

The winger showed the touch of class that has seen him make the Brumbies Academy with two tries in each half as Tonga turned a 13-10 halftime lead into a comfortable canter at Esher.

“I am very happy – I just thank God for the opportunity to bring me here,” said Iongi. “We really practised hard and we just hoped that we would win the game.”

Tonga go into Sunday’s game against England Saxons at Kingsholm buoyed by an impressive demolition of the Eagles, whose captain Todd Clever admitted: “I am extremely disappointed. We couldn’t put it together. We just switched off and we were not on the same page – that’s partly because we are not together very often. But we have got one game left in the Churchill Cup so hopefully we can re-group and get our attitude right.”   

These two last met in the 2007 Rugby World Cup when Tonga won 25-15 but this ranking test match was far from close.

Tonga got off to a dream start when Iongi sped away from the grasping Andrew Suniula and raced away to the line.

Kurt Morath added the extras to an early penalty to give Tonga a 10-0 lead until Nesi  Malifa pulled back three points. But Morath restored the 10-point advantage after 21 minutes as the US Eagles’ indiscipline again cost them.

Tonga lost prop Tonga Lea’aetoa to the sinbin for a high tackle and the USA capitalised when Louis Stanfill rampaged downfield, Shawn Pittman took the ball on and when the ball was moved left, the experienced Paul Emerick dived over in the corner for Usasz to convert.

Scott Lavalla, consolation try scorer in the 87-8 defeat by England five days previously Saxons, almost got on the score sheet again but scrum half Soane Havea got his hand in the way and ball was knocked forward from the second row’s grasp to leave Tonga ahead  by three at halftime.

Usasz pulled an early second-half penalty wide across the face of the posts and things got worse for them when Eteuni Siua got away from Cornish Pirates-bound Roland Suniula and put Iongi away for his second try.

Morath added the extras and then kicked his third penalty for a 23-10 lead when Pittman ended up in the sinbin for a high tackle on Ilaisa Ma’asi. 

The Eagles rallied, prompted by a probing kick from Usasz, but the attack came to nothing and it was Tonga who tightened their grip when Iongi wrapped up his hat-trick. Pepa Koloamatangi took Havea’s long pass and fed Iongi with the sweetest of balls for the winger to waltz round Swiryn on a sixpence to race home.

Lavalla went close to the line but was held up short and though referee Roman Poite pulled play back for a penalty it was small beer with a 17-point deficit to claw back in the last 10 minutes. 

That proved impossible when Iongi finished off his haul before Pasuka Mapakaitolo got his reward for his workhorse effort and dotted down.

Tonga15 M Malupo 14 V Helu 13 S Hufanga 12 E Siua 11 V Iongi 10 K Morath 9 S Havea 1 T Lea’Aetoa 2 I Ma’Asi 3 K Pulu [C] 4 S Timani 5 E Kauhenga 6 P Mapakaitolo 7 P Koloamatangi 8 V Ma’Afu BENCH: 16 A Halangahu 17 O Fainga’Anuku 18 J Afu 19 P Kaho 20 D Mrath 21 E Paea 22 S Taumoepeau

SCORERS  T: Iongi (4), Mapakaitolo C: K Morath (5) P: K Morath (3) Yellow Card Tonga Lea'aetoa

USA Rugby15 R Suniula 14 C Hawley 13 P Emerick 12 A Suniula 11 K Swiryn 10 N Malifa 9 T Usasz 1 M Moeakiola 2 C Biller 3 S Pittman 4 L Stanfill 5 S Lavalla 6 I Basauri 7 T Clever [C] 8 N Johnson BENCH: 16 P Thiel 17 E Fry 18 J Van Der Giessen 19 P Danahy 20 M Petri 21 T Enosa 22 T Hall

SCORERS T: Emerick C: Emerick P: Malifa (2) Yellow Card Shawn Pittman

Man Of the Match:  Viliami Iongi 
Referee: Romaine Poite (France)

Canada CANADA vs RUSSIA Russia

MOSELEY ROAD - Wednesday 8th June 2011

Churchill Cup Canada v RussiaCANADA booked their place in a second successive Churchill Cup final with a five-try victory over Russia at Esher.

Kieran Crowley’s men followed up their opening day 26-12 victory over Italy A with a workman like five-try display against the Russians, scoring 19 unanswered points in the second half.

But for 60 minutes of the game, the Russians held their own and even took the lead, looking to upset the Canuck apple cart that in recent years has seen a marked improvement. In the end it was stamina that let them down as the Europeans could not sustain the pace for the full 80 minutes.

Tries from Justin Mensah-Coker, Connor Trainor, Ander Munro, Chauncey O’Toole and Matt Evans secured the victory and an 11-day rest before they go for glory at Sixways against England Saxons or Tonga.  

O’Toole, man of the match for the second time in five days, said: “It feels pretty good to be in the final – that was our goal. It was a tough game and we knew that we would have to weather their storm and it was going to take a full 80 minutes against these guys.”

It was O’Toole who set the tone of the Canadian display when he made a break upfield, the ball was moved wide and James Pritchard flipped the ball back inside for Mensah-Coker to dot down.

Pritchard added the extras and then traded penalties with Yury Kushnarev before Canada pressed the self destruct button when Igor Kalinovsky pounced on a loose ball and raced away to score.

That brought the scores level at 10-10 before the Bears went 15-10 ahead through Vasily Artemyev, who pounced on a kick through to dot down.

Trainor cancelled that out when two long passes down the line from Sean White and then Munro found the outside centre, who jinked his way out of clutching hands to cross.

But it was Russia who had the last say in the first half with Kushnarev kicking a second penalty for an 18-15 lead.

Canada regrouped but they had to wait 20 minutes to score the try of the evening – a flowing move down the left which included a Mike Scholz one handed pass out of the tackle – for Munro to cross and Pritchard to add the conversion.  

And they sealed the victory after 70 minutes when O’Toole intercepted Alexander Voytov’s pass as Canada attacked the blind side and the flanker had an easy run to the line.

Evans wrapped up the victory when he took advantage of another loose ball to race away to score behind the posts for Pritchard to convert.

Russia now take on Italy A at Kingsholm on Sunday and Russian Coach, Kingsley Jones said:

“I was very proud of them. They have worked hard in a short space of time. We are working on our strength and conditioning and just imagine how good we can be if we get fitter. Playing at that intensity for 80 minutes is a massive thing.

“It’s a hard lesson for the lads to learn but it was a pleasing night in many ways. Of course we would like to win but we are realistic about where we are as a team.”

Canada15 James Pritchard 14 Matt Evans 13 Conor Trainor 12 Mike Scholz 11 Justin Mensah-Coker 10 Ander Monro [C] 9 Sean White 1 Tom Dolezel 2 Ryan Hamilton 3 Scott Franklin 4 Tyler Hotson 5 Jamie Cudmore 6 Jebb Sinclair 7 Chauncey O'Toole 8 Aaron Carpenter BENCH: 16 Pat Riordan 17 Andrew Tiedemann 18 Hubert Buydens 19 Mitchell Gudgeon 20 Nanyak Dala 21 Ed Fairhurst 22 Phil MacKenzie

SCORERS T: Mensah-Coker, Trainor, Monro, O'Toole, Evans C: Pritchard (3) P: Pritchard

Russia15 I Klyuchnikov  14 V Artemyev  13 I Makovetskiy  12 A Makovetskiy  11 V Ostroushko  10 Y Kushnarev  9 S Shakirov  1 S Popov  2 V Korshunov [C]  3 I Prishchepenko  4 V Boltenkov  5 A Voytov  6 A Temnov  7 A Garbuzov  8 V Grachev  BENCH: 16V Tsnobiladze  17 A Travkinm  18 A  Panasenko  19 V Gresev  20 A Bykanov  21 S Trishin  22 A Ryabov

SCORERS T: Klyuchnikov, Artemyev C: Kushnarev P: Kushnarev (2)

Man Of the Match:  Chauncey O'Toole
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)



Italy ITALY A 12 - 26 CANADA Canada

FRANKLIN’S GARDENS - Saturday 4th June 2011

Man-of-the-match Chauncey O'Toole on the charge. Pic: Martin BennettCHAUNCEY O’TOOLE inspired Canada to a comfortable win over Italy A in the opening game of the Churchill Cup at Franklin’s Gardens.

The all-action flanker from New Brunswick was deservedly named man-of-the-match as he inspired the Canucks to a three-try win over the Azzurri’s second string.

O’Toole, who set up a superb try for James Pritchard, said: “That was great win for us – we are really pleased with that. It was a great effort at the end to keep them out.”

It was Pritchard who opened the scoring when, after a series of early exchanges between the two sides, the Italians failed to move away from the tackle and afforded the Bedford Blues fullback the opportunity to take his side ahead.  

The Italians were quick on Canadian toes, bringing the scores level after 18 minutes thanks to the boot of scrum-half Tito Tebaldi.

With the opening try yet to be seen, Pritchard missed the third penalty of the game a minute later, sending the ball wide of the sticks to leave the score at 3-3.

After a succession of slick passing between the Italians, led by Ruggero Trevisan, they missed the chance to get ahead for first time when Tebaldi’s penalty kick fell short of the sticks.

It was instead the Canadians who went ahead with over half-an-hour gone, fly half Ander Monro opting for a drop goal on the edge of the 22.

The North Americans’ lead was short lived however when, down the other end of the pitch, Tebaldi again tied the scores after Canada dropped their bind at the scrum.

The Azzurri finally found themselves going in 9-6 up at the break, slotting a clean kick in between the uprights from inside the 22 when Canada’s ill discipline cost them at the breakdown. 

Canada opened the second half with the first try of the game, after a run from prop Jason Marshall took his side to within inches of the line before back-row Aaron Carpenter collected the ball off the back of the breakdown to step over the line.  Pritchard sliced the conversion wide.

To add to Italy’s woes in front of watching national coach Nick Mallett, captain Valerio Bernabo' was shown a yellow card for an offside offence to leave the men in blue one down and chasing a two-point deficit.

Italy’s defence was stretched to its limits when only minutes later, Canada pushed for the line with building momentum to put Jason Marshall over. After another television referee decision, Dave Pearson signalled the Canadian’s second try in as many minutes. Pritchard struggled to find his angle, sending the conversion wide.

Now on full gas, the North Americans caused no end of problems for this Italy A side who failed to get their hands on the ball for long enough to make any impact.

Instead, it was again the Canadians who added further points to the board as O’Toole and Pritchard paired up to put the latter under the crossbar for a try and simple conversion.

Italy did manage to narrow the deficit with their fourth successful penalty of the game, scrum-half Tebaldi again find his way between the uprights.

As soon as Italy had added three points, the Canadians cancelled them out when Pritchard added three points to take the final score to 26-12.

Italy15 Ruggero Trevisan 14 Andrea Bacchetti 13 Denis Majstorovic 12 Matteo Pratichetti 11 Michele Sepe 10 Riccardo Bocchino 9 Tito Tebaldi 8 Manoa Vosawai 7 Mauro Bergamasco 6 Valerio Bernabo' [C] 5 Marco Bortolami 4 Corniel Van Zyl 3 Fabio Staibano 2 Tommaso D’Apice 1 Alberto De Marchi BENCH: 16 Andrea Manici 17 Matias Aguero 18 Dario Chistolini 19 Joshua Furno 20 Francesco Minto 21 Giulio Toniolatti 25 DuRandt Gerber

SCORERS P: Tebaldi (4) Yellow Card Valerio Bernabo'

Canada15 James Pritchard 14 Ciaran Hearn 13 Conor Trainor 12 Ryan Smith 11 Phil Mackenzie 10 Ander Monro 9 Ed Fairhurst 1 Hubert Buydens 2 Pat Riordan [C] 3 Jason Marshall 4 Tyler Hotson 5 Brian Erichsen 6 Jebb Sinclair 7 Chauncey O'Toole 8 Aaron Carpenter BENCH: 16 Ryan Hamilton 17 Andrew Tiedemann 18 Mitch Gudgeon 19 Nanyak Dala 20 Sean White 21 Mike Scholz 22 Matt Evans

SCORERS T: Carpenter, Marshall, Pritchard C: Pritchard P: Pritchard (2) DG: Monro

Man Of The Match: Chauncey O’Toole
Referee: Dave Pearson (RFU)

England SaxonsENGLAND SAXONS 87 - 8 USA USA Rugby

FRANKLIN’S GARDENS - Saturday 4th June 2011

Churchill Cup England Saxons v USA

ENGLAND SAXONS gave the USA Eagles a routing they are likely not to forget in a hurry. A record-breaking 13 tries were scored against the North Americans, as England beat them quite magnificently 87-8 at Franklin’s Gardens, impressive for an England second XV missing their captain, Gloucester’s Luke Narraway, who was admirably replaced by Leicester Tiger, Jordan Crane. But in the Eagles defence, it must be made clear that a number of the Americans do not play rugby professionally full time.

Just two minutes in to the match, it was the Saxons that conceded the first penalty, and the Eagles opened the scoring with a kick through the uprights from Taivalu Enosa.

But then it began...Worcester Warriors wing, Miles Benjamin touched down for his first try five minutes in, and Harlequins Rory Clegg converted. From here on in, the Eagles were beginning to haemorrhage penalties and could not stop the onslaught; by half time, England were 33-3 up with a second try from Benjamin to accompany others from Quins Mike Brown, Newcastle Falcons Micky Young, and a penalty try awarded by referee, Nigel Owens going into the break. Clegg missed only one of the five conversions.

The second half began with Mike Brown scoring his second try from an Eagles scrum in their own 22, and the next forty minutes was just a barrage of a further seven tries from Tom Johnson, Billy Twelvetrees, Henry Trinder, Charlie Sharples, Graham Kitchener and Paul Hodgson, with Benjamin scoring a hat trick at the end of the third quarter. Rory Clegg brought his tally of match points up to 22 with eleven conversions in all.

The Eagles did manage a try two minutes from time from Scott Lavalla, but it was scant consolation. The Saxons had spent much of the game in Eagles territory, and even though they did leak their fair share of penalties, the USA could not capitalise, and the home side created 7 of their 13 tries from turnover ball.

Leicester’s Billy Twelvetrees was awarded Man Of The Match for his invaluable contribution to the game, setting up a number of the tries eventually scored.

USA Eagles Coach. Eddie O’Sullivan commented after the game, “The game got away from us early on and we were struggling early.  On some occasions we held onto the ball and did some good things.

“It was a very big ask of our team to go against the fully professional England Saxons side and a lot of our problems were of our own making.”

England Saxons15 Mike Brown 14 Topsy Ojo 13 Henry Trinder 12 Billy Twelvetrees 11 Miles Benjamin 10 Rory Clegg  9 Micky Young 1 Matt Mullan 2 Joe Gray 3 Matt Stevens 4 Mouritz Botha 5 Dave Attwood 6 James Gaskell 7 Tom Johnson 8 Jordan Crane [C] BENCH: 16 David Paice 17 Kieran Brookes 18 Graham Kitchener 19 Jamie Gibson 20 Paul Hodgson 21 Alex Goode 22 Charlie Sharples

SCORERS T: Benjamin (3), Brown (2), Young, Penalty try, Johnson, Twelvetrees, Trinder, Sharples, Kitchener, Hodgson C: Clegg (11)

USA Rugby15 Mike Palefau 14 Mile Pulu 13 Tai Enosa 12 Junior Sifa 11 Colin Hawley 10 Troy Hall 9 Mike Petri [C] 1 Eric Fry 2 Phil Thiel 3 Will Johnson 4 John van der Giessen 5 Scott LaValla 6 Pat Danahy 7 Danny LaPrevotte 8 JJ Gagiano BENCH: 16 Chris Biller 17 Shawn Pittman 18 Louis Stanfill 19 Inaki Basauri 20 Tim Usasz 21 Roland Suniula 22 Andrew Suniula

SCORERS T: Lavalla P: Enosa

Man Of The Match: Billy Twelvetrees
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)



Churchill Cup NEWS

Thursday 16th June 2011

Churchill Cup Italy A HAVING made their debuts into the Churchill Cup this year, Tonga and Italy A will now face each other in the Plate final this Saturday at Sixways Stadium (1415).

The pair will play the second game of the day following the Bowl final between USA and Russia at midday.

TongaTonga’s path to the final was cleared with an opening victory over USA (13-44) thanks to winger Viliami Iongi’s tearing apart of the Eagles with four tries at Esher Rugby. The Tongans biggest test followed with title holders and competition favourites England Saxons in their sights at Kingsholm where, despite an early flurry, the men in red succumbed to the force of the Saxons’ dominance upfront (14-41).

ItalyFor the Italians, a closely fought win over Russia (19-24) at Kingsholm ensured their place in the Plate final, although with the likes of Marco Bortolami and Mauro Bergamasco on show, the Azzurri will likely rue the missed opportunity having failed to make an impression against finalists Canada at Franklin’s Gardens (26-12). The former of the two Italy players – who have over 180 caps between them – will captain the side at Sixways.

Tonga15 M Malupo 14 V Helu 13 S Hufanga 12 T Sili 11 V Iongi 10 E Paea 9 S Havea 1 O Fainga’anuku 2 A Halangahu 3 K Pulu 4 J Afu 5 E Kauhenga 6 S Timani 7 P Kaho 8 P Mapakaitolo BENCH: 16 S Telefoni 17 M Latu 18 P Koloamatangi 19 T Ula 20 D Morath 21 S Fonua 22 K Morath

Italy15 D Gerber 14 G Venditi 13 A Pratichetti 12 A Pratichetti 11 A Esposito 10 R Bocchino 9 T Tebaldi 1 M Aguero 2 T D’Apice 3 F Staibano 4 J Furno 5 M Bortolami [C] 6 L Petillo 7 F Minto 8 M Vosawai BENCH: 16 A Manici 17 A De Marchi 18 D Chistolini 19 V Bernabo 20 G Toniolatti 21 R Trevisan 22 N Belardo

Thursday 16th June 2011

USA RugbyChurchill Cup USA Eagles Tim UsaszEAGLES Head Coach, Eddie O'Sullivan, has made three changes to his starting team ahead of Saturday's important clash with Russia at Sixways Stadium.

The USA vs Russia match will kick off at 12:00pm BST/7:00am ET on June 18 and will be broadcast live online at Universal Sportsand on tape delay on Universal Sports at 12 p.m. ET.

Both the USA and Russia know there is more to this match than meets the eye, as the next time these two teams will see each other will be on September 15 on the world's biggest stage, the Rugby World Cup.

The last time these two countries faced off in June of 2010, the Eagles ran out 39-22 winners. The Eagles will, however, be without veteran fullback Chris Wyles and wing Taku Ngwenya, who both scored tries in that victory, and also Hayden Smith, Samu Manoa and Mike MacDonald.

"We are looking forward to the final game of the Churchill Cup and we expect after our third week in camp we will be more cohesive than we were against Tonga. But it will be a tough game against Russia who have already had three months together in New Zealand and the Six Nations Tier Two Championship during the spring", said O'Sullivan.

"It is an important test as it gives us the opportunity for us to throw down a marker for our RWC pool game and another opportunity for players to stake a claim for inclusion in the RWC Squad."

In Pool B, Russia narrowly lost out 24-19 against Italy 'A' and 34-18 to a powerful Canadian outfit.

Saturday’s team shows five changes to the starting twenty-two that lost to Tongan, as former Sale Sharks scrum-half Mike Petri is named in replacement of Tim Usasz, who moves to the bench.  Phil Thiel shows the only change in the front row, replacing Chris Biller, while Louis Stanfill moves from the second row to number 8; John Van der Giessen starting at lock.

USA Rugby15 Blaine Scully (University of California - Berkeley) 14 Colin Hawley (Olympic Club) 13 Paul Emerick (Life University) 12 Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins) 11 Kevin Swiryn (Agen) 10 Nese Malifa (Glendale) 9 Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club) 1 Mate Moeakiola (Bobigny 93) 2 Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate) 3 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh) 4 John van der Giessen (Utah Warriors) 5 Scott LaValla (Stade Français) 6 Inaki Basauri (L'Aquila) 7 Todd Clever [C] (Suntory Sungoliath) 8 Louis Stanfill (Mogliano) BENCH: 16 Phil Thiel (Life University) 17 Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks) 18 Pat Danahy (Life University) 19 Nic Johnson (Unattached) 20 Tim Usasz (Nottingham RFC) 21 Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby) 22 Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore)

Russia15 I Klyuchnikov 14 V Artemyev 13 M Babaev 12 A Makovetsky 11 V Ostroushko 10 Y Kushnarev 9 A Shakirov 1 S Popov 2 V Korshunov [C] 3 I Prishchepenko 4 A Voytov 5 D Antonov 6 A Temnov 7 A Garbuzov 8 V Grachev BENCH: 16 V Tsnobiladze 17 A Chernyshev 18 A Panasenko 19 V Gresev 20 A Bykanov 21 A Ryabov 22 I Galinovsky

Thursday 16th June 2011

England SaxonsChurchill Cup England Saxons lock Graham KitchenerWORCESTER duo Graham Kitchener and Miles Benjamin come back into the England Saxons side for Saturday's Churchill Cup final against Canada at Sixways (4.30pm).

In all the Saxons make three changes to the side that started last Sunday's  41-14 win against Tonga.

Kitchener replaces the injured David Attwood in the second row, Benjamin takes over from Topsy Ojo on the wing and Mike Brown is at full back instead of Alex Goode. On the bench Bath Rugby prop Nathan Catt stands by to make his first outing of the tournament.

Kitchener - making his final appearance as a Worcester Warriors player before joining Leicester Tigers this summer - and Goode are the only two survivors in the squad from last year's final when the Saxons beat Canada 38-18 at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "It's disappointing to lose Dave Attwood off the back of three good performances against the Barbarians and in the Churchill Cup but it's a great opportunity for Graham Kitchener. We're confident about what he can deliver having played so well against Italy A at Worcester earlier in the season.

"We've also got a lot of quality options in the backs and as the game progresses we envisage that the players coming off the bench will make a big impact.

"We're aware of the threat that Canada pose. They've played well in their wins against Italy A and Russia. They're a fit, well-coached and organised side who have spent a considerable amount of time together over the last few years. They will fight for the full 80 minutes so we've got a big challenge ahead of us to retain the trophy."

Canada reached this season's final by beating Italy A 26-12 and Russia 34-18.

England Saxons15 Mike Brown (Harlequins) 14 Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby) 13 Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby) 12 Billy Twelvetrees (Leicester Tigers) 11 Miles Benjamin (Worcester Warriors) 10 Rory Clegg (Harlequins) 9 Paul Hodgson (London Irish) 1 Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors) 2 David Paice (London Irish) 3 Matt Stevens (Saracens) 4 Mouritz Botha (Saracens) 5 Graham Kitchener (Worcester Warriors) 6 James Gaskell (Sale Sharks) 7 Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs) 8 Jordan Crane [C] (Leicester Tigers) BENCH: 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)

Thursday 16th June 2011

CanadaChurchill Cup Canada Kieran CrowleyRUGBY CANADA head coach Kieran Crowley knows his team faces a tough task to defeat England Saxons in the Churchill Cup final on Saturday (1630)

And while injury and unavailability have limited some of his selection options, Crowley has picked a mix of muscle up front and experience out back which he hopes will get the job done at Sixways Stadium.

The squad to face the Saxons features eight players from the starting line-up that defeated Russia 34-18 and twelve starters from Canada's 26-12 win over Italy A.

“It's the best squad available to us and it's a matter of managing the players we have,” Crowley said. “They're ready to go. If we can match them around the set piece I believe we'll be right in this game.”

The front row sees the return of captain Pat Riordan to the starting line up, bolstered by props Hubert Buydens and Jason Marshall. Erichsen returns to the starting second row after being left out of the squad against Russia and is joined by Cudmore, who returned to the Canadian jersey last week for the first since 2007.

Not surprisingly, the back row of Jebb Sinclair, Chauncey O'Toole and Aaron Carpenter retain their starting jerseys, as they have in all of their team's games this tournament.

The only forward in the squad unavailable for selection is Ryan Hamilton, who has been rested due too a strained knee ligament.

In the backs, both wing Justin Mensah-Coker and scrum half Ed Fairhurst have had to return home due to work commitments. Sean White will return to the starting scrum half position, pairing with Ander Monro at fly half.

The remainder of the back line has been rejigged by Crowley, who feels added experience was necessary to deal with the impending threats from the Saxons. For this reason, the centres pairing has changed back to Phil Mackenzie and Ryan Smith.

Meanwhile, the back three sees James Pritchard moved to the wing, Ciaran Hearn on the other wing and Matt Evans at fullback.

Canada1 Hubert Buydens 2 Pat Riordan [C] 3 Jason Marshall 4  Brian Erichsen 5 Jamie Cudmore 6 Jebb Sinclair 7 Chauncey O'Toole 8 Aaron Carpenter 9 Sean White 10 Ander Monro 11 James Pritchard 12 Ryan Smith 13 Phil Mackenzie 14 Ciaran Hearn 15 Matt Evans BENCH: 16 Andrew Tiedemann 17 Scott Franklin 18 Tyler Hotson 19 Nanyak Dala 20 Jamie Mackenzie 21 Nathan Hirayama 22 Conor Trainor

Friday 10th June 2011

Churchill Cup Vasily Artemyev RussiaRussiaSOON to be Saint Vasily Artemyev insists that control will determine Russia's performance on Sunday.

The Russians led Canada 18-15 at half time in Wednesday's game at Esher Rugby, but conceded nineteen second half points to go down 18-34.

Artemyev said: “It was disappointing to lose on Wednesday. The result didn’t quite demonstrate what the game consisted of. The initial emotion was frustration but then afterwards, when we got together and looked back at the game, we saw that we were in control for most of it and that was a big positive form previous games, so we’ll take that and move on.

“We can definitely be in more control for the entire game and follow the lead of our game makers, so if we can be a bit more composed and keep out cool throughout the full eighty minutes, I think we can eliminate those mistakes."

Commenting on Russia’s opposition Italy A, who are chasing their first Churchill Cup win after an opening day slump against Canada, the winger was clear that a physical encounter was bound to be on the cards: “We’ve seen they’re very physical, with a good midfield including some strong runners." added Artemyev.

"They’re very strong upfront and obviously have some international players in the squad so it’s definitely going to be a physical encounter with a good bit of kicking too.”

Italy15 R Trevisan 14 G Toniolatti 13 A Pratichetti 12 A Pratichetti 11 M Sepe 10 R Bocchino 9 T Tebaldi 1 A De Marchi 2 T D’Aspice 3 F Staibano4 J Furno 5 V Bernabo [C] 6 F Minto 7 M Bergamasco 8 M Vosawai BENCH: 16 A Manici 17 M Aguero 18 D Chistolini 19 M Bortolami 20 D Gerber 21 G Venditti 22 N Belardo

Russia15 I Klyuchnikov 14 V Artemyev 13 M Babaev 12 S Trishin 11 R Yagudin 10 Y Kushnarev 9 A Bykanov 1 G Tsnobiladze 2 V Tsnobiladze 3 A Chernyshev 4 A Panasenko 5 D Antonov 6 V Gresev 7 M Sidorov 8 V Grachev [C] BENCH: 16 V Korshunov 17 A Travkin 18 I Prishchepenko 19 A Garbuzov 20 A Shakirov 21 A Ryabov 22 I Galinovsky

Friday 10th June 2011

England SaxonsENGLAND Saxons have made four changes to their starting line-up for Sunday's Churchill Cup clash with Tonga at Gloucester (2.30pm).

Full back Alex Goode, wing Charlie Sharples, scrum half Paul Hodgson and hooker David Paice come into the side.

They take over from Mike Brown, Miles Benjamin, Micky Young and Joe Gray for a match that will determine who meets Canada in the Churchill Cup final at Worcester on June 18.

The Saxons set a competition record with their 87-8 win over the USA last weekend but tournament newcomers Tonga - who got within a score of South Africa at the 2007 World Cup - represent a difficult test. The Islanders beat the USA 44-13 at Esher on Wednesday with wing Viliami Iongi scoring four tries.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "We've rotated our squad for this game to give other players opportunities to demonstrate their abilities as we see the tournament very much about development as well as being a competition in its own right.

"A lot of players really put their hand up last week. It’s tough on the likes of Miles Benjamin who misses out this time but I am sure he will get further opportunities during the final games of the competition.

"Tonga had a very good win against what was probably a stronger USA side than the one we faced and we're very aware of the physicality they'll bring on Sunday.

"They played with good shape in attack and defence against the USA. For us it's important that we improve our execution, particularly in the first half, and that this young England Saxons side measures up to the physical challenge."

England Saxons15 Alex Goode (Saracens) 14 Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby) 13 Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby) 12 Billy Twelvetrees (Leicester Tigers) 11 Topsy Ojo (London Irish) 10 Rory Clegg (Harlequins) 9 Paul Hodgson (London Irish) 1 Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors) 2 David Paice (London Irish) 3 Matt Stevens (Saracens) 4 Mouritz Botha (Saracens) 5 Dave Attwood (Gloucester Rugby) 6 James Gaskell (Sale Sharks) 7 Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs) 8 Jordan Crane [C] (Leicester Tigers) BENCH: 16 Joe Gray (Harlequins) 17 Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons) 18 Graham Kitchener (Worcester Warriors) 19 Jamie Gibson (London Irish) 20 Micky Young (Newcastle Falcons) 21 Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins) 22 Mike Brown (Harlequins)

Monday 6th June 2011

TongaChurchill Cup Tonga captain Kisi PuluTONGA Head Coach Isitolo Maka has revealed the starting XV who will make Tonga's debut into the Churchill Cup on Wednesday evening at Esher Rugby.

Kisi Pulu, of Top 14 side Perpignan, will start at tight-head prop and will captain the side against USA, KO 1730.

In the opposition camp, USA boss Eddie O’Sullivan has rung the changes following Saturday 87-8 defeat to England Saxons.

Only wing Colin Hawley and try-scoring second row Scott Lavalla are retained while Sevens player Paul Emerick – who also played in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, is brought in at centre. There is a new halfback combination in Tim Usaz and Nese Malifa.

Captain Todd Clever returns to the starting line-up after sitting out of his side's 87-8 thrashing by England Saxons, while former captain Mike Petri moves to the bench.


M Malupo, V Helu, S Hufanga, E  Siua, V  Iongi, K  Mortath, S  Havea, T  Lea’Aetoa, I  Ma’Asi, K  Pulu, S Timani, E Kauhenga, P Mapakaitolo, P Koloamatangi, V Ma’Afu, A Halangahu, O Fainga’Anuku, J Afu, P Kaho, D Mrath, E Paea, S Taumoepeau

Monday 6th June 2011

RussiaRussia Kingsley JonesKINGSLEY JONES has named his first Churchill Cup team ahead of Russia's opening game at Esher on Wednesday.

Russia face Canada on Wednesday at Moseley Road, who enter the next stage of the tournament after a convincing win over Italy "A" at Franklin's Gardens. Man of the Match Chauncey O'Toole is again named in the starting XV alongside try scorers James Pritchard and Aaron Carpenter.


I Klyuchnikov, V Artemyev, I Makovetskiy, A Makovetskiy, V Ostroushko, Y Kushnarev, S Shakirov, S Popov, V Korshunov [C], I Prishchepenko, V Boltenkov, A Voytov, A Temnov, A Garbuzov, V Grachev, V Tsnobiladze, A Travkinm, A Panasenko, V Gresev, A Bykanov, S Trishin, A Ryabov

Tuesday 31st May 2011

CanadaCanada Kieran CrowleyFOLLOWING his side’s first training session at Broadstreet RFC on Monday in preparation for the 2011 Churchill Cup – kicking off this Saturday – Rugby Canada Head Coach Keiran Crowley is determined to build on last year’s success, which saw Canada make it all the way to the Cup final against England Saxons.
“We’re looking forward to it. We’ve got a lot of work to do in six days before our first game but it’s an exciting time with this tournament and then looking a bit further down the track so the guys have got a lot to play for.
“The Churchill Cup is a great tournament. It’s been critical for the development of rugby in Canada because we don’t get the level of Internationals games that other countries get and we don’t get the chance to get together as a group because of the distances, so the Churchill Cup has always been a primary competition for Canada. We’re treating it within its own right.
“Our hopes for this tournament are that we can build on last year, when we got to our first ever final in the tournament against England Saxons. This year it’s a different set of people and a different tournament – we have Italy A first up on Saturday who will be a real challenge for us.

"From a coaching perspective, we want to build on the way we play the game and ultimately, get some of our players noticed by overseas clubs.”


FORWARDS: Pat Riordan (British Columbia), Ryan Hamilton (British Columbia), Scott Franklin (Prairie Wolf Pack), Hubert Buydens (Prairie Wolf Pack), Andrew Tiedemann (Prairie Wolf Pack), Jason Marshall (British Columbia), Tom Dolezel (Prairie Wolf Pack), Tyler Hoston (Plymouth Albion), Brian Erichsen (British Columbia), Jamie Cudmore (Clermont Ferrand), Sean Michael Stephen (Plymouth Albion), Jebb Sinclair (The Rock), Nanyak Dala (Prairie Wolf Pack), Chauncey O'Toole (The Rock), Aaron Carpenter (Plymouth Albion)

BACKS: Sean White (British Columbia), Ed Fairhurst (British Columbia), Nathan Hirayama (British Columbia), Ander Monro (Ontario Blues), Ryan Smith (Prairie Wolf Pack), Conor Trainor (British Columbia), Phil Mackenzie (Esher RFC), Justin Mensah-Coker (British Columbia), Ciaran Hearn (The Rock), James Pritchard (Bedford RFC), Matt Evans (Newport Gwent Dragon)

Monday 30th May 2011

England SaxonsENGLAND SAXONS have selected their youngest ever squad as they prepare to launch their defence of the Churchill Cup on home soil this weekend.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster today named a 24-man group for the tournament that kicks off against the USA at Northampton on Saturday (5pm).

Replacements for Harlequins prop Joe Marler (concussion) and Northampton Saints fly half Stephen Myler (broken toe), both injured against the Barbarians yesterday, will be named in due course.

Northampton Saints flanker Calum Clark (back) and Saracens flanker Andy Saull (dead leg) have also been ruled out with James Gaskell and Jamie Gibson (London Irish) called up.

The age profile of the Saxons has fallen from 25 years, six months in 2006 to 23 years, nine months this summer.

Henry Trinder and Charlie Sharples, Rory Clegg and Joe Gray, Kieran Brookes, Billy Twelvetrees, Gibson and Gaskell are all 22 or younger and appear in the tournament for the first time.

But there is also room for late developers and those seeking to re-establish their senior international claims before England team manager Martin Johnson names his preliminary Rugby World Cup training squad on June 20.

Lock Mouritz Botha, 29, has stepped up from junior rugby with Bedford Athletic through Bedford Blues to Saracens and is included in the squad with fellow Aviva Premiership winners Matt Stevens, 28, and Alex Goode, 23.

Tom Johnson England SaxonsThey are joined by Exeter Chiefs flanker Tom Johnson, 28, whose first season in the top flight was followed by a try-scoring debut in an England shirt in the 38-32 defeat against the Barbarians.

There are just four survivors from the 22 on duty in last June’s 38-18 Churchill Cup final victory against Canada – Goode, Young, Graham Kitchener and Luke Narraway – when tries from Goode, Narraway, Nick Abendanon and Jon Clarke, and 18 points from the boot of Myler, saw them home.

“It’s a great opportunity for so many young players to test themselves against international sides like the USA and Tonga who are preparing for the World Cup,” said Lancaster.

“The players involved against the Barbarians will have taken a lot out of a match against some really experienced internationals and now the challenge is to bind them together with players coming in from the two Aviva Premiership finalists to produce an effective performance against the USA on Saturday.”

After facing the USA at Franklin’s Gardens, England take on Tonga at Gloucester on Sunday, June 12 (2.30pm). The finals day at Worcester on Saturday, June 18 will pit the Saxons against Canada, Italy A or Russia.


FORWARDS: David Attwood (Gloucester Rugby), Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers), James Gaskell (Sale Sharks), Jamie Gibson (London Irish), Joe Gray (Harlequins), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Graham Kitchener (Worcester Warriors), Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors), Luke Narraway (Gloucester Rugby), David Paice (London Irish), Matt Stevens (Saracens)

BACKS: Miles Benjamin (Worcester Warriors), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Rory Clegg (Harlequins), Alex Goode (Saracens), Paul Hodgson (London Irish), Topsy Ojo (London Irish), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Billy Twelvetrees (Leicester Tigers), Micky Young (Newcastle Falcons) 

Monday 30th May 2011

ItalyITALY "A" Head Coach Gianluca Guidi today named his 28-man Churchill Cup squad.

The Azzurri will make their debut in the competition on Saturday June 4, facing Canada at Franklin’s Gardens. The team come off the back of a 24-0 win over the XV della Serenissima (Italian North East invitational club) yesterday night in San Donà, close to Venice.

Two Italy "A" tries came from seventeen-year-old winger Angelo Esposito, who made his debut at senior level and stunned the crowd with his quality performance deserving of his Churchill Cup selection. He is joined by Italy U18 team-mate Edoardo Padovani, who replaced Tito Tebaldi at scrumhalf yesterday in San Donà.
Andrea Bacchetti Italy ARovigo winger Andrea Bacchetti, who has two caps following his appearances in the 2009 RBS 6 Nations, has also been added to the squad after his superb performance in the Italian Championship Final on Saturday, despite his team losing 18-14 to Petrarca Padova after leading 14-3 in the first half. 

"Andrea played an amazing final and he deserved the call” Guidi said.

“But both de Carli and I are pleased by the way the youngsters performed in yesterday's game against the Venetians. It is crucial for their growth to compete in a top level tournament like the Churchill Cup."


Matias Aguero (MPS Aironi), Dario Chistolini (Petrarca Padova), Alberto de Marchi (MPS Aironi), Fabio Staibano (MPS Aironi), Tommaso D’Apice (Futura Park Rugby Roma), Andrea Manici (HBS GranDucato Parma), VALERIO BERNABO’ [C] (Benetton Treviso), Marco Bortolami (MPS Aironi), Joshua Furno (MPS Aironi), Cornelius van Zyl (Benetton Treviso), Nicola Belardo (Estra I Cavalieri Prato), Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Francais), Francesco Minto (Benetton Treviso), Manoa Vosawai (Benetton Treviso)

Edoardo Padovani (Marchiol Mogliano), Tito Tebaldi (MPS Aironi), Riccardo Bocchino (MPS Aironi), DuRandt Gerber (HBS GranDucato Parma), Andrea Bacchetti (Femi-CZ Rovigo), Angelo Esposito (Ruggers Tarvisium), Denis Majstorovic (Estra I Cavalieri Prato), Gilberto Pavan (MPS Aironi), Andrea Pratichetti (Benetton Treviso), Matteo Pratichetti (MPS Aironi), Michele Sepe (Benetton Treviso), Giulio Toniolatti (MPS Aironi), Ruggero Trevisan (BancaMonteParma Crociati), Giovanbattista Venditti (MPS Aironi)

Tuesday 24th May 2011

USA RugbyTWO matches in such a short space of time will be challenging for the USA squad, but will provide excellent preparation for the Rugby World Cup as they take on Ireland on September 11 and then Russia on September 15.

The format for the Churchill Cup sees two pools of three teams, with Canada, Italy and Russia completing Pool B. After the pool phase, first, second and third in each pool will then play for the Cup, Bowl and Plate in the elimination matches on June 18.

USA RugbyThe USA squad consists of thirteen overseas-based players, while seven members of the squad are currently in the UK representing the United States in the HSBC Sevens World Series and will be joining the team in England.

Commenting on selection, head coach Eddie O’Sullivan said “The fact that there are some players resting gives an opportunity to others to make a case for inclusion in the final selection for Rugby World Cup. Also, as was impressed on the players at the recent domestic camp at the OTC (Chula Vista), omission from the Churchill Cup squad does not automatically mean omission from the Rugby World Cup squad. A lot of things can change between June and August, when the final selection will be made.”

FORWARDS: Inaki Basauri (L' Aquila), Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate), Todd Clever (Suntory Sungoliath, Japan), Pat Danahy (Life University), Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks), JJ Gagiano (Univ. of Cape Town), Nic Johnson (Unattached), Will Johnson (London Irish), Danny LaPrevotte (San Francisco Golden Gate), Scott LaValla (Unattached), Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie), Shawn Pittman (London Welsh), Louis Stanfill (Mogliano), Phil Thiel (Life University), John van der Giessen (Utah Warriors)

BACKS: Paul Emerick (Life University), Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore), Troy Hall (New York Athletic Club), Colin Hawley (Olympic Club), Nese Malifa (Glendale), Mike Palefau (Utah Warriors), Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club), Mile Pulu (San Francisco Golden Gate), Junior Sifa (Nottingham RFC), Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins), Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby), Kevin Swiryn (Agen), Zack Test (Unattached), Tim Usasz (Nottingham RFC)



Churchill Cup TICKETS

Tickets are available for all Churchill Cup games directly from the venues the matches are being played. Call box directly or click on the online button to by online...

Northampton SaintsFranklin's Gardens Online: Churchill Cup Tickets Canada v Italy A & USA Rugby v England SaxonsFRANKLIN'S GARDENS: Canada vs Italy & USA vs England Saxons
01604 581 000


EsherMoseley Road Online: Churchill Cup Tickets Canada v Russia & USA Rugby v TongaMOSELEY ROAD: Canada vs Russia & USA vs Tonga
01932 220 295


Gloucester RugbyKingsholm Online: Churchill Cup Tickets Russia v Italy A & Tonga v England SaxonsKINGSHOLM: Russia vs Italy & Tonga vs England Saxons
01452 872 289


Worcester WarriorsSixways Online: Churchill Cup Tickets The FinalsSIXWAYS: The Finals
01905 454 183