The Barclay's Churchill Cup international rugby competition starts in Santa Clara on Saturday, as the Bay Area plays host to one of the two pools of this international rugby tournament. The Churchill Cup is an international rugby tournament jointly organized by the USA, Canada, and England. (Note that I do mean "England," not "Great Britain" or some other combination. England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland -- the last being a unified team, north and south -- field separate national rugby squads.) They have invited three other countries to this year's tournament, and split the six teams into two pools. The "San Francisco" pool, which will be played at Buck Shaw Stadium at Santa Clara University, consists of the USA, Ireland A, and the New Zealand Maori. The other pool is (Canada, England 'Saxons', and Scotland) playing in Ottawa and Toronto. The results of pool play will seed the six teams for the final round in Edmonton.
I hope to attend all three matches being played here, because it's rare to get a chance to see world-class rugby around here. Even though the non-North American unions are more or less bringing along their secondary or developmental sides, it still should be a good series of matches.
Saturday, June 3rd - 2:00PM United States vs. Ireland A
Wednesday, June 7th - 7:30 PM United States vs. New Zealand Maori
Saturday, June 10th - 2:00 PM New Zealand Maori vs. Ireland A
Afterthought, 10:20 AM: This presumably means that before the matches including Ireland A they will play Ireland's Call, which is a wonderful anthem. And the matches with New Zealand Maori will mean we get to see the Haka. Yay!