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England, France, and Russia emerge as winners in 2010 Churchill Cup Finals

After wrapping up the six games of pool play at Glendale’s Infinity Park last week, the 2010 Churchill Cup Rugby Tournament resumed play at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey Saturday.

The three matches comprising the Churchill Cup Finals featured the England Saxons versus Rugby Canada in the Cup Final, the United States versus France A in the Plate Final, and Russia versus Uruguay in the Bowl Final.

Churchill Cup Final
England’s 38-18 victory over Canada in the Cup Final earned the Saxons their fifth Cup Trophy in the tournament’s eight-year history.

England reached the Cup Final by defeating the Russia (see story) and United States (see story) in the pool stage. Rugby Canada, also 2-0 in pool play, reached the Cup Final by defeating Uruguay (see story) and surprising the international rugby community with a 33-27 upset of France A at Infinity Park two weeks ago (see story).

2010 Churchill Cup
Saturday, June 19
Red Bull Arena Harrison, NJ
Cup Final
England Saxons 38
Canada 18
Plate Final 
France A 24
United States 10
Bowl Final
Russia 38
Uruguay 19

Plate Final
In a match that remained close until seventy-fifth minute, the United States fell to France A in the Plate Final. France’s Julian Arias finished off the Eagles late with his second try of the day. Lionel Beauxis’ conversion made it 24-10. The USA’s only try (converted) came from Scott Lavalla that tied the score at 7-7 in the first half.

“The team really absorbed a lot of hits in the first half, and I think it just took its toll,” USA Coach Eddie O’Sullivan said after the match. “I was proud at how they didn’t let their guard down in the second half. They turned the ball over some, and it slipped out of their hands a few times, but they made France fight for everything; and I’m happy with the heart they showed today.”

The Eagles were 1-1 in pool play at Glendale’s Infinity Park with a 39-22 win over Russia (see story) in the first stage and a 39-9 loss to tournament winners, England Saxons, in the second stage.

Bowl Final
In the Bowl final, Russia won its first game of their Churchill Cup début by defeating Uruguay, 38-19.

“We have come a long way in 18 months, but the goal setting is going well; and over the next 18 as we head towards the World Cup, we will get better.” Russia's Director of Rugby Steve Diamond said Saturday. “The Churchill Cup has been great. The Russians have had a big eye opener about how to prepare for a top competition.”

Both Russia and Uruguay were swept in the pool stages. Russia lost its opener to the United States on day one and lost its second match to England on the second day of competition. Uruguay lost to both France and Canada (see storys).

2010 Churchill Cup - Pools
Saturday June 5 Infinity Park
Pool A Canada 48
  Uruguay 6
Pool B United States 39
  Russia 22
Wednesday June 9 Infinity Park
Pool A England Saxons 49
  Russia 17
Pool B France A 43
  Uruguay 10
Sunday June 13 Infinity Park
Pool A England Saxons 32
  United States 9
Pool B Canada 33
  France A 27

About Churchill Cup
The Churchill Cup is named for British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Established in 2003, the alliance between the English Rugby Football Union (RFU), Rugby Canada, and USA Rugby was created to help develop the sport in North America following a successful tour of the continent by the English National Team in 2001.

The Churchill Cup has traditionally been a traveling tournament with matches held in multiple cities, but the loss of a major sponsor, Barclays, prompted the Alliance to entertain the idea of a consolidating the tournament to one city. In 2009, the Alliance selected Denver since the city is considered an enthusiastic sports town with a growing appetite for rugby.

In 2010, the Churchill Cup played the pool six stages at Infinity Park and the finals in New Jersey. The CEO & President of Rugby Operations of USA Rugby, Nigel Melville, is hopeful that one day Denver will become the tournament’s permanent home.

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