Anglo-Welsh Cup

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Anglo-Welsh Cup
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2014–15 LV Cup
Sport Rugby union
Founded 1971
No. of teams 16
Countries England England
Wales Wales
Most recent champion(s) Saracens (2nd title)
Most titles Bath (10 titles)
Official website [1]

The Anglo-Welsh Cup (Welsh: Cwpan Eingl-Gymreig), known for sponsorship reasons as the LV Cup (styled as the LV= Cup), is a cross-border rugby union knock-out cup competition featuring the 12 English Premiership clubs and the four Welsh regions. The present sponsorship deal with British insurance company LV, which runs for two seasons, was announced on 29 October 2009, just before the start of the 2009–10 competition.[1] Between 2006 and 2009, the competition was sponsored by EDF's UK subsidiary and referred to as the EDF Energy Cup.

Prior to 2006 the cup was an all-English competition.[2]

History[edit]

1971–2005[edit]

Originally known as the RFU Club Competition, for which no cup was awarded nor sponsorship sought, it was renamed the John Player Cup in 1976. The first competition took place in 1972, and Gloucester were crowned inaugural champions, defeating Moseley in the final, 17–6. Coventry won two titles in succession in 1973 and 1974, and after Bedford's championship win in 1975, Gosforth also won two in succession, in 1976 and 1977. Gloucester won their second title in 1978. The competition was then dominated by Leicester, who won three championships in a row, until Gloucester won their third title in 1982. This was shared with Moseley after a 12–12 draw in extra time, and was the only time the cup was shared between two teams. Leicester were again in the final in 1983, but lost to Bristol. Leicester's record run was then broken by Bath from 1984 to 1987, who won the cup four times in a row, until Harlequins won their first in 1988.[citation needed]

The name of the cup was changed to the Pilkington Cup for the 1989 tournament. Bath picked up from where they left off in the late 1980s, going onto win another six times from 1989 to 1996. Harlequins won their second title in 1991, and Leicester added to their three championships in 1993 and again in 1997. The cup changed its name again after Leicesters' 1997 victory, becoming the Tetley's Bitter Cup for the 1998 season. Saracens won their first title, defeating Wasps in 1998. Wasps were again in the final in 1999, and defeated Newcastle to claim their first championship. Wasps also won the 2000 competition.[citation needed]

In 2001, the name of the tournament was changed to the Powergen Cup. Newcastle won the first Powergen Cup, defeating the Harlequins 30–27. London Irish won it for their first time the following season, and Gloucester won it for the first time since 1982 in 2003. Newcastle won in 2004, and in 2005 the Leeds Tykes defeated Bath to win it for the first time.[citation needed]

2005–present: Anglo-Welsh Cup[edit]

Starting in 2005–06, the cup featured a new format including only the twelve teams from the Guinness Premiership and the four regional Welsh clubs. Teams from the Championship (formerly National Division One) and below now play for the Powergen National Trophy, and from 2009–10 Championship teams also play in the British and Irish Cup.

In place of the knock-out format, the 16 clubs are placed in four pools with three English clubs and one Welsh club. The pool stages of the Anglo-Welsh Cup tournament feature one game against each team. The winners of each of the four groups progress to the semi-finals. The pools will stay as they are for the following season as well, with home and away fixtures reversed and the club relegated from the Premiership's place taken by the club promoted from the Championship.

In addition to increased TV revenue (the revised Powergen Cup had a new broadcasting agreement with BBC Sport) and a possible boost to matchday income, the Powergen Cup also offered its winner, if they were a Premiership club, qualification to the even more lucrative Heineken Cup competition. As base compensation, all 16 Powergen clubs are guaranteed £250,000 each, with a prize fund of up to £200,000 available to the semi-finalists.[3]

The Welsh clubs' inclusion initially caused them to be expelled from the Celtic League. Scottish and Irish officials were angered that the Welsh clubs had apparently consented to Powergen Cup fixtures on the same weekend as Celtic League matches. The political fallout resulted in the purported expulsion of the Welsh clubs from the league. Eventually, a compromise was reached, and the Welsh clubs were readmitted.

The Scarlets playing Bath at the Millennium Stadium

Interest in the Powergen Cup was high during the first two rounds. Over 100,000 spectators attend matches, while the television audience peaked at 1.2 million on BBC2 for the match between the Newcastle Falcons and the Llanelli Scarlets.[4] Overall, the 2005–06 cup drew a 12% attendance boost in the group stages over the previous year's competition.[5]

However, Powergen decided to withdraw all of its rugby sponsorship after the conclusion of the 2005–06 cup competitions.[6] The next sponsor of the Anglo-Welsh Cup was EDF Energy,[7] in a deal that ran until 2009. The present deal with LV runs through the 2010–11 competition.[1]

The pools (or groups) for the Powergen Cup were decided on a regional basis, consisting of three English sides geographically close to one another, and one Welsh club again divided as far as possible by their location.[citation needed]

There will be no Anglo-Welsh Cup competition in the 2015–16 season due to the late start of the 2015–16 English Premiership season.[8]

List of winners[edit]

The Powergen Cup (centre) seen in the London Irish clubhouse at Sunbury in 2002

Key

Key to list of winners
* Match went to extra time
Italics Cup shared

All teams are English, except where Wales (Welsh).

RFU Club Competition
Season Winners Score Runners-up Venue Attendance Ref
1971–72 Gloucester 17–6 Moseley Twickenham 10,500
1972–73 Coventry 27–15 Bristol Twickenham 11,500 [9]
1973–74 Coventry 26–6 London Scottish Twickenham
1974–75 Bedford 28–12 Rosslyn Park Twickenham 18,000 [10]
1975–76 Gosforth 23–14 Rosslyn Park Twickenham 7,500 [11]
1976–77 Gosforth 27–11 Waterloo Twickenham 10,000 [12]
1977–78 Gloucester 6–3 Leicester Twickenham 24,000 [13]
1978–79 Leicester 15–12 Moseley Twickenham 18,000 [14]
1979–80 Leicester 21–9 London Irish Twickenham 27,000 [15]
1980–81 Leicester 22–15 Gosforth Twickenham 24,000 [16]
1981–82 Gloucester 12–12 Moseley Twickenham 20,000 [17]
1982–83 Bristol 28–22 Leicester Twickenham 34,000
1983–84 Bath 10–9 Bristol Twickenham 25,000 [18]
1984–85 Bath 24–15 London Welsh Twickenham 32,000
1985–86 Bath 25–17 Wasps Twickenham 23,000 [19]
1986–87 Bath 19–12 Wasps Twickenham 35,500
1987–88 Harlequins 28–22 Bristol Twickenham 37,000 [20]
1988–89 Bath 10–6 Leicester Twickenham 59,300
1989–90 Bath 48–6 Gloucester Twickenham 52,000 [21]
1990–91 Harlequins 25–13 Northampton Twickenham 53,000 [22]
1991–92 Bath 15–12 Harlequins Twickenham 62,000
1992–93 Leicester 23–16 Harlequins Twickenham 54,000 [23]
1993–94 Bath 21–9 Leicester Twickenham 68,000 [24]
1994–95 Bath 36–16 Wasps Twickenham [25]
1995–96 Bath 16–15 Leicester Twickenham 75,000 [26]
1996–97 Leicester 9–3 Sale Twickenham 75,000 [27]
1997–98 Saracens 48–18 Wasps Twickenham 64,000
1998–99 London Wasps 29–19 Newcastle Twickenham 50,000 [28]
1999–00 London Wasps 31–23 Northampton Twickenham 48,000 [29]
2000–01 Newcastle 30–27 Harlequins Twickenham 71,000 [30]
2001–02 London Irish 38–7 Northampton Twickenham 75,000 [31]
2002–03 Gloucester 40–22 Northampton Twickenham 75,000 [32]
2003–04 Newcastle 37–33 Sale Twickenham 48,519 [33]
2004–05 Leeds Tykes 20–12 Bath Twickenham 60,300

Anglo-Welsh Cup[edit]

All teams are English, except where Wales (Welsh).

RFU Club Competition
Season Winners Score Runners-up Venue Attendance Ref
2005–06 London Wasps 26–10 Llanelli Scarlets Wales Twickenham 57,212
2006–07 Leicester Tigers 41–35 Ospreys Wales Twickenham 43,312 [34]
2007–08 Ospreys Wales 23–6 Leicester Tigers Twickenham 65,756
2008–09 Cardiff Blues Wales 50–12 Gloucester Twickenham 54,899
2009–10 Northampton Saints 30–24 Gloucester Sixways Stadium, Worcester 12,024 [35]
2010–11 Gloucester 34–7 Newcastle Falcons Franklin's Gardens, Northampton 6,848 [36]
2011–12 Leicester Tigers 26–14 Northampton Saints Sixways Stadium, Worcester 11,895 [37]
2012–13 Harlequins 32–14 Sale Sharks Sixways Stadium, Worcester 8,100 [38]
2013–14 Exeter Chiefs 15–8 Northampton Saints Sandy Park, Exeter 10,744 [39]
2014–15 Saracens 23–20 Exeter Chiefs Franklin's Gardens, Northampton 8,865 [40]
2015–16 no competition due to Rugby World Cup

List of champions[edit]

Bath – 10 titles; Gloucester and Leicester Tigers – 5 titles; Newcastle Falcons(Gosforth) – 4 titles; Harlequins and Wasps – 3 titles; Coventry and Saracens – 2 titles; Bedford Blues, Bristol, Cardiff Blues, Exeter Chiefs, Yorkshire Carnegie (Leeds Tykes) , London Irish, Ospreys and Northampton – 1 title

Media coverage[edit]

BBC covered this tournament from its inception up to 2009 when the rights were transferred to Sky Sports. BBC coverage was covered by their usual rugby union team of John Inverdale with Jeremy Guscott, Jonathan Davies, Andy Nicol and Keith Wood with commentary by Nick Mullins, Eddie Butler or Andrew Cotter with the likes of Brian Moore and Phillip Matthews with reporting by Jill Douglas or Sonja McLaughlan. Sky now show the tournament live with their main rugby union team of Simon Lazenby or Alex Payne with the likes of Will Greenwood, Tyrone Howe, Dewi Morris and commentary by Miles Harrison or Mark Robson with Stuart Barnes or Ieuan Evans. ITV show highlights with Craig Doyle and Martin Bayfield with commentary by Bob Symonds or Martin Gillingham.[citation needed]

In Australia the Anglo-Welsh Cup is broadcast on Setanta Sports, and also in Asia on Setanta Sports. In New Zealand the Anglo-Welsh Cup is broadcast on The Rugby Channel.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "LV= sponsors rugby's Anglo-Welsh Tournament" (Press release). Rugby Football Union. 29 October 2009. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2009. 
  2. ^ "Anglo-Welsh Cup: Previous winners". BBC. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Cup resurrects Anglo-Welsh contests of old days". Times Online. 27 September 2005. Retrieved 30 September 2006. [dead link]
  4. ^ RFU[dead link]
  5. ^ "EDF Energy to sponsor UK's premier cup competition". Rugby Football Union. Archived from the original on 8 November 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2006. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Powergen to end cup sponsorships". BBC Sport. 16 February 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2006. 
  7. ^ "Anglo-Welsh Cup gets new sponsor". BBC Sport. 1 August 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2006. 
  8. ^ "LV=Cup cancellation would hit Exeter Chiefs". BBC Sport. 
  9. ^ Jenkins, Vivian, ed. (1973). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1973-74. London: Queen Anne Press. pp. 88–91. ISBN 0362001456. 
  10. ^ Jenkins, Vivian (1975). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook. Brickfield Publications Ltd. ISBN 0362-00221-5. 
  11. ^ Jenkins, Vivian (1976). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook. Brickfield Publications Ltd. ISBN 0362-00281-9. 
  12. ^ Jenkins, Vivian, ed. (1977). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1977–78 (6th ed.). London: Queen Anne Press Division. ISBN 0354 09020 8. 
  13. ^ Jenkins, Vivian, ed. (1978). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1978–79 (7th ed.). London: Queen Anne Press Division. ISBN 0354 09047X. 
  14. ^ Jenkins, Vivian (1979). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook. Brickfield Publications Ltd. ISBN 0354-09087-9. 
  15. ^ Jenkins, Vivian, ed. (1980). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1980–81 (9th ed.). London: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0362 02018 3. 
  16. ^ Jenkins, Vivian, ed. (1981). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1981–82 (10th ed.). Aylesbury: Rothmans Publications Limited. ISBN 0 907574 05 X. 
  17. ^ Jenkins, Vivian, ed. (1982). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1982–83 (11th ed.). Aylesbury: Rothmans Publications Ltd. ISBN 0 907574 13 0. 
  18. ^ Jones, Stephen, ed. (1984). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1984–85 (13th ed.). London: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0 356 10448 6. 
  19. ^ Jones, Stephen, ed. (1986). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1986–87 (15th ed.). London: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0 356 12361 8. 
  20. ^ Jones, Stephen, ed. (1988). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1988–89 (17th ed.). London: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0 356 15884 5. 
  21. ^ Williams, Tony; Mitchell, Bill, eds. (1990). Official Rugby Union Club Directory 1990–91 (3rd ed.). Windsor: Burlington Publishing Co Ltd. ISBN 1 873057 024. 
  22. ^ Jones, Stephen, ed. (1991). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1991–92 (20th ed.). London: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0 356 20249 6. 
  23. ^ Jones, Stephen, ed. (1993). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1993–94 (22nd ed.). London: Headline Book Publishing. 
  24. ^ Jones, Stephen, ed. (1994). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1994–95 (23rd ed.). London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0 7472 7850 4. 
  25. ^ Cleary, Mick; Griffiths, John, eds. (1995). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1995–96 (24th ed.). London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0 7472 7816 4. 
  26. ^ Cleary, Mick; Griffiths, John, eds. (1996). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1996–97 (25th ed.). London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0 7472 7771 0. 
  27. ^ Cleary, Mick; Griffiths, John, eds. (1997). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1997–98 (26th ed.). London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0 7472 7732 X. 
  28. ^ Cleary, Mick; Griffiths, John, eds. (1999). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1999–2000 (28th ed.). London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0 7472 7531 9. 
  29. ^ McCormack, Stephen, ed. (2000). The Official RFU Club Directory 2000–2001 (13th ed.). Harpenden: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 1 85291 627 3. 
  30. ^ McCormack, Stephen, ed. (2001). The Official RFU Club Directory 2001–2002 (14th ed.). Harpenden: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 1 85291 640 0. 
  31. ^ McCormack, Stephen, ed. (2002). The Official RFU Club Directory 2002–2003 (15th ed.). Harpenden: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 1 85291 645 1. 
  32. ^ "Gloucester lift the cup". The Scotsman. 
  33. ^ "Rugby Union". BBC Sport. 
  34. ^ "Leicester 41-35 Ospreys". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  35. ^ "Northampton 30-24 Gloucester". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  36. ^ "Gloucester 34-7 Newcastle". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  37. ^ "Match Centre". Premiership Rugby. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  38. ^ "Match Centre". Premiership Rugby. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  39. ^ "LV= Cup final: Exeter Chiefs 15-8 Northampton Saints". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  40. ^ "LV Cup final: Saracens 23-20 Exeter Chiefs". BBC Sport. 

External links[edit]