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Jim Mallinder and Steve Diamond to coach England in Churchill Cup

31 March 2003

Jim Mallinder and Steve Diamond will coach England in the inaugural Churchill Cup in Canada in June.

The Sharks pair will lead the party to Vancouver, where they will play Canada on June 14 and the USA on June 21, with a potential final on June 28 at The Thunderbird Stadium.

The squad will then head on to Tokyo to face Japan in the National Stadium on July 5.
Former England full-back Mallinder and ex-hooker Diamond have taken the Cheshire club to second in the Zurich Premiership and last season Sharks won the Parker Pen Shield, the first piece of major silverware in their 142-year history.
Chris Spice, the Rugby Football Union's Performance Director, said: "We are very pleased to appoint guys at the top end of the Premiership game. Jim and Steve have a proven track record of working well together and we are very pleased to welcome them to the England programme."
Mallinder said: "We are very pleased to be on board and excited to be given this opportunity. This tour is vital for the development of English players and it is a great opportunity for some of them to come through and shine.
"Steve and I work well together at Sharks and I hope we can bring that partnership to England."
As in June 2001, when England won all three internationals and two midweek matches on their North American tour while many of their players were with the British Lions in South Africa, the team that participates in the Churchill Cup and the game in Japan will contain several players pushing hard for World Cup places.
England head coach Clive Woodward said: "The Churchill Cup will provide all of the players taking part with a huge challenge at international level. Jim Mallinder and Steve Diamond are doing a great job with The Sharks and I am delighted that they will be leading the party.
"I must stress that the tournament will be an important part of our World Cup preparations and that there will be players on the tour that will be part of the squad in October.
"I saw at first hand the progress Canada and the USA are making during our North American tour in 2001 and I'm delighted that this is continuing."

Jim Mallinder (Coach)
Born: 16th March 1966, Halifax, Yorkshire
Current position: Sharks head coach
Playing position: Full-back
Previous clubs: Old Crossleyians, Roundhay
Representative honours: North, England (2 caps)

Steve Diamond (Assistant Coach)
Born: 3rd February 1968, Manchester
Current position: Sharks manager
Playing position: Hooker
Previous clubs: Metrovick, Macclesfield

�        The Churchill Cup is the showcase of a strategic alliance between the unions of England, USA and Canada. The five-year agreement will provide regular competition for the USA, Canada and England as well extensive development opportunities for the North American nations. The tournament will be hosted alternatively by Canada and the USA.
�        The Churchill Cup will follow the format of a �round robin' between the men's and women's teams of the three countries followed by a Final between the two top teams.
�        The men's games will be played as follows (all times local and subject to change)

Saturday         14th June 2003                      Canada v England                2.00pm
Wednesday    18th June 2003                      Canada v USA                      8.00pm
Saturday         21st June 2003                       England v USA                      2.00pm
Saturday         28th June 2003                      Churchill Cup Final                2.30pm

�        The women's games will be played as follows (all times local and subject to change)

Saturday         14th June 2003                      Canada v England                12.00pm
Wednesday    18th June 2003                      England v USA                      6.00pm
Saturday         21st  June 2003                      Canada v USA                      12.00pm
Saturday         28th June 2003                      Churchill Cup Final                12.30pm