- 2012/13 season launch held at Jonny May's former club, Royal Wootton Bassett RFC
- Lewis Moody named as LV= Cup Ambassador
The LV= Cup has been a catalyst in the development of the next generation of elite rugby players in England and Wales according to former England captain Lewis Moody.
Moody was speaking at the launch of the 2012-13 LV= Cup season where he was joined by a host of English and Welsh club representatives including last season's the LV= Cup Breakthrough Player, Gloucester’s Jonny May.
The launch took place at Royal Wootton Bassett RFC in Swindon, the club where May plied his trade before joining Gloucester Rugby in 2009. To recognise the impact the club had on his professional development, May chose Royal Wootton Bassett to receive the £1,000 prize he received as winner of the 2012 LV= Breakthrough Player Award. The money will be used in the redevelopment of their clubhouse.
Speaking at the launch, May said: “Winning the LV= Breakthrough Player Award last year was a total surprise, but a very welcome one! There were some impressive players in the final six and it was a huge honour to have been chosen as the winner by the Gloucester supporters. I’m relishing the chance to get back out there in the competition and make their vote count on the pitch.”
Lewis Moody was appearing at the launch in his new role as LV= Cup Ambassador. Before retiring, the former England captain and British & Irish Lions flanker, most recently played in the LV= Cup for Bath Rugby in their win over Worcester Warriors last season.
The LV= Cup is an excellent opportunity for young players - Moody
Speaking at the launch today, Moody, 34, commented on the importance of the LV= Cup in developing young players for the top end of the game:
“The LV= Cup is a great tournament and one I loved playing in. The English, Welsh rivalry and promise of a place in Europe meant the games were always fiercely competitive.
“It is an excellent opportunity for younger players to make their mark on the first team. As a senior player, it was brilliant to see some of the academy players getting stuck in and growing in confidence as the competition went on.
“This season, I expect to see even more talented youngsters making a name for themselves. Game time is crucial for their development into elite level players and the LV= Cup is perfect for this.”
Welsh well represented
The Welsh contingents of the competition were also out in full force at Royal Wootton Bassett on Monday, with Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent-Dragons all represented.
Since its revision eight years ago to the current format, the LV= Cup competition has produced two Welsh title holders in Ospreys (2008) and Cardiff Blues (2009). Scarlets progressed to the semi-finals of the competition last year but failed to hold off Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens, who subsequently went on to lose the final to a fearsome Leicester Tigers at Sixways Stadium.
Home of Worcester Warriors, Sixways will host the final for a second consecutive year having played host to a number of important fixtures, including the 2011 Churchill Cup finals day, the 2011 U20 Six Nations Championship and of course, the 2011-12 and 2009-10 LV= Cup final.
LV= Head of Sponsorship Claire Jeromson said: “We are delighted to be able to launch this year’s LV= Cup here at Royal Wootton Bassett RFC, the club where it all began for Jonny May. The LV= Cup plays a unique role in nurturing the next generation of elite players and the LV= Breakthrough Player Award recognises standout individuals as well as helping grassroots clubs and initiatives continue to produce talent like Jonny. We would like to wish all sixteen clubs good luck in their opening matches this weekend.”
The LV= Cup kicks off on Friday, 9 November. Watch the next generation break through. For tickets and info, visit www.lv.com/rugby