Double header festival set to kick off Greene King IPA’s title partnership of the RFU Championship
Greene King IPA is today confirmed as the first title partner of the RFU Championship, the second tier of professional rugby in England, consolidating its position as one of the key supporters of rugby at all levels of the game.
The competition, now titled the Greene King IPA Championship to reflect the new four year partnership, has seen rapid growth since its inception in 2009.
The league continues to become increasingly competitive and is a showcase for exciting rugby, whilst providing a strong pathway for a number of England players including seven from the current squad, five of whom are on the 2013 Lions Tour.
Extending the league season from 22 to 23 rounds, the 2013-14 season will begin with a triple bill of double headers to kick-off Greene King IPA’s new partnership on the weekend of September 14, taking place at the neutral venues of Allianz Park, Sandy Park and Castle Park.
RFU Chief Commercial Officer Sophie Goldschmidt commented: “We are delighted to have reached agreement with Greene King IPA to become the title partner of the RFU Championship. The Championship has developed significantly thanks to the continued commitment of the clubs and the Union.
It has led the way with innovations such as RefCam and live Twitter streaming for fans, which have helped it become the fantastic competition it is today.
“We would like to thank the Championship clubs for their support during the negotiations. We look forward to the new Greene King IPA Championship season, which will also see Sky Sports broadcast 18 live games.”
Chris Houlton, Managing Director of Greene King Brewing & Brands, added:
“Greene King IPA has been a supporter of rugby union at all levels for many years and we are looking forward to an exciting partnership with the Championship over the next four seasons and bringing the great taste of quality cask ale to rugby fans across the country.
The Championship is a fantastic division and a proven hotbed of emerging rugby talent - we see this as the perfect time to commit to a long term agreement and help raise its profile.”
Following the announcement of the Greene King IPA Championship today, Championship Clubs Chairman Geoff Irvine commented,
“This announcement is a fantastic step forward for the competition and on behalf of the Championship clubs, I would like to welcome Greene King IPA.
To have such an established brand like Greene King IPA invest in the second tier of professional rugby is a real credit to the clubs and all the hard work they have put in since the Championship formed in 2009.”
The 2013-14 season will kick-off a week later than usual to avoid the start of the Aviva Premiership campaign.
With the inclusion of two reserve weekends, and continuing the excitement of knock-out rugby in the two legged semi-finals and final, the Championship season will conclude on Wednesday June 4 2014.
Plymouth Albion v Jersey RFC
Cornish Pirates v Bristol Rugby
Ealing Trailfinders v London Scottish
London Welsh v Bedford Blues
Moseley v Rotherham Titans
Nottingham Rugby v Leeds Carnegie