By Mark Stevens
Sandy Park, home to the Exeter Chiefs, has today been confirmed as the venue for the final of this year’s LV= Cup competition.
The announcement was made at the Devon stadium ahead of the launch of the 2013/14 tournament by former England international and LV= Cup ambasaddor Lewis Moody.
The final, which will take place on Sunday, March 16, 2014, promises to not only showcase some of the best up and coming rugby talent in the country but provide a truly memorable experience for supporters.
This season, LV= will be showcasing how rugby can bring people together and create a “rugby family”. From the amateur club grounds-man to future international rugby stars, the mums and dads standing pitch side on a Saturday morning to the groups of friends cheering on their team, everyone contributes and is part of the rugby family. As such, fans of all 16 teams competing in the LV=Cup were invited to put themselves forward to represent their club, to help celebrate Sandy Park being named the final venue as well as the upcoming LV=Cup campaign.
Earlier today yhe lucky competition winners gathered at the stadium, donning their club colours to take over captaincy duties for a photo session, before putting their rugby skills to the test on the Sandy Park turf alongside players from the LV= Cup teams.
Chosen to host the LV= Cup Final, state-of-the-art Sandy Park became the home of the Exeter Chiefs in 2006 and has since gone on to become a favourite with rugby fans; staging the 2007 Churchill Cup fixtures, an international ‘A’ game between England Saxons and the Irish Wolfhounds last year, and most recently, the Greene King IPA Championship double headers. The stadium is also set to host three Rugby World Cup fixtures during the 2015 competition.
Recognised for enabling the next generation of international rugby players to break through, the LV= Cup has unearthed a wealth of talented young players in recent seasons. As well as staging this seasons LV= Cup Final, host Exeter Chiefs also counts the 2013 LV= Breakthrough Player and England Under-20s star, Jack Nowell in its ranks.
Nowell claimed the title in April 2013, after impressing in the pool stages of the competition and was selected in the England Saxons squad this summer. Nowell was ranked as the top performing back in the LV=Cup last season, setting a high standard for any of this year’s nominees when the award is launched after Round One.
Speaking at the announcement today, Tony Rowe OBE, Chairman & Chief Executive of Exeter Rugby Club said: “As a club we are thrilled to have been selected as the venue for the LV= Cup final. Over the years we have hosted a number of top games, not just in the Premiership and in Europe, but also a clutch of international fixtures including the Churchill Cup.
“As rugby supporters know Sandy Park is a great match-day experience and we’ve no doubt that will be evident when the LV= Cup final is held here. We look forward to welcoming all fans to the West Country for what will be the first silverware of the season.”
Claire Jeromson, Head of Sponsorship at LV=, added: “It’s really exciting to have the LV= Cup Final at Sandy Park this season. Judging by the success of last year’s final and coupled with the rugby heartland of Exeter, we are looking forward to another strong cup campaign and something the whole rugby family can really enjoy.
“With the likes of Jack Nowell going onto achieve big things, it proves the good health of the domestic game but also highlights the young talent that the LV= Cup gives valuable game time to.”
Season Ticket holders, Gold Card and 1905 members will soon be able to benefit from forthcoming ticket incentives for this fixture with a view to securing priority seating for the West Grandstand.
Also, the club will this weekend (for the visit of Harlequins) be staging a special competition that will reward one lucky person who has purchased tickets for this game to win a pair of FREE tickets for the March final.