- LV= continue their title sponsorship of cross-border competition
- Title holders Gloucester Rugby welcome Sale Sharks in opening weekend
Photo: Getty Images
Gloucester Rugby, the 2010/11 LV= Cup winners, will welcome Sale Sharks to Kingsholm on the opening weekend of the 2011/12 campaign.
After last year’s 34-7 win over Newcastle Falcons at Franklin’s Gardens, Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Bryan Redpath is relishing his side’s start to the competition.
"The LV= Cup has been an integral part of our season in recent times. We’ve made the final three years in a row and last season’s win secured our place in Europe. We’ve seen many young players develop as a result of playing in the tournament and having that pathway available is the foundation of any successful club.
"Our first fixture against Sale Sharks certainly won’t be an easy start to the tournament. Following our win at Franklin’s Gardens, we are also now involved in the Heineken Cup and we will have to be on top form in terms of our fitness and attitude if we want to be successful in both competitions."
Insurance, retirement and investment group LV= has confirmed it will continue its title sponsorship of the competition for a further four years which, in addition to the two previous seasons, will see the company commit to a total of six years as title sponsor.
David Smith, LV= HR and Communications Director said: “We are delighted to continue our title sponsorship of the LV= Cup for a third year as we look to strengthen our commitment in rugby. The tournament provides a unique platform to engage with rugby fans and promote the LV= brand. The last two seasons have produced some fantastic rugby and the tournament is fast establishing itself as a hotbed for young talent. We’re very much looking forward to the forthcoming season and would like to wish all teams the bestof luck.”
Elsewhere in the 2011-12 season, current Aviva Premiership Rugby title holders Saracens will travel to Franklin’s Gardens on the opening weekend, facing Heineken Cup runners-up Northampton Saints.
The two teams began their LV= Cup campaigns in the similar fashion last year, with the Saints instead travelling to Vicarage Road where, in a thrilling encounter, Saints’ Shane Geraghty went over the line in the final moments to earn his side a 22-22 draw.
Making their return to the LV= Cup, Worcester Warriors begin their campaign with a home fixture against London Wasps, who last year staged their third round fixture against Harlequins in the grounds of the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi.
Commenting on the new season, the Rugby Football Union’s Rugby Operations Director Rob Andrew said:
“The LV= Cup offers a genuine opportunity for young players to come forward and contest for silverware, and it has proven an effective development pathway for players moving up to the elite. The tournament is a unique cross-border competition and with a place in Europe for an English winner, the LV= Cup is fast becoming a fixture calendar highlight for both clubs and supporters alike.”
Sophie Goldschmidt, RFU Chief Commercial Officer added:
“We are delighted to confirm that LV= will continue their sponsorship of the competition, committing to a further four years as title sponsor. The renewed partnership between LV=, the RFU, WRU and Premiership Rugby furthers strengthens the development of the competition and we are confident that will continue over the next four years.
“We will be working closely with LV= , Premiership Rugby and the WRU to further raise the profile of the competition and look forward to another successful season both on the field and off.”
2011/12 LV= Cup Pools & Fixtures
Round 1 – 14/15/16 October
Northampton Saints v Saracens
Worcester Warriors v London Wasps
Dragons v Bath Rugby
Exeter Chiefs v Ospreys
Newcastle Falcons v Cardiff Blues
Harlequins v London Irish
Gloucester Rugby v Sale Sharks
Scarlets v Leicester Tigers (Saturday October 15, Sky Sports HD, KO 1800)
Round 2 – 21/22/23 October
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs
London Wasps v Dragons
Bath Rugby v Worcester Warriors
Ospreys v Northampton Saints (Saturday October 22, Sky Sports HD, KO 1800)
London Irish v Newcastle Falcons
Sale Sharks v Harlequins
Leicester Tigers v Gloucester Rugby
Cardiff Blues v Scarlets
Round 3 – 27/28/29 January
Ospreys v Dragons
London Wasps v Exeter Chiefs
Saracens v Worcester Warriors
Bath Rugby v Northampton Saints
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers
Scarlets v London Irish
Gloucester Rugby v Cardiff Blues
Round 4 – 3/4/5 February
Exeter Chiefs v Bath Rugby
Worcester Warriors v Ospreys
Northampton Saints v London Wasps
Dragons v Saracens
Cardiff Blues v Harlequins
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons
London Irish v Gloucester Rugby
Sale Sharks v Scarlets
Semi finals (9/10/11 March, venue TBC)
Final (16/17/18 March, venue TBC)