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15 July 2009 | PR 09/92

Loughborough Aces face Australia in Tri-Nations warm-up

Loughborough Aces player

Loughborough Aces player

Loughborough Aces will take on Australia’s national American Football team the Gridirons this Saturday (18 July) as the visitors warm up for next week’s tri-nations series against GB Lions and Sweden hosted  Loughborough University.

The students, who are forming a combined side with West Midlands club Tamworth Phoenix for this high profile fixture, will play as Loughborough Phoenix when they face the tourists at 6pm on Saturday on the University’s Holywell pitch in the West Park area of campus.

The Loughborough Aces are one of the most successful teams ever to play British American Football, having amassed three National Championship and seven Conference titles in their 20-year history. They lead the league in win/loss percentages, most wins, and most post-season victories and have reached the semi-final stage five times in the last six years.

Aces head coach Jason Scott, who is also assistant coach to the GB Lions squad, hopes his team will put up a good fight against the Australians in what’s being dubbed as the ‘alternative Ashes’.

“It’s a huge honour for us to play an international team like Gridiron Australia,” he said. “We hope our combined side can muster a good competition for the tourists, and even turn them over in our own back yard.

“We have a very progressive programme here at Loughborough and we like to innovate as much as possible which has obviously been recognised in gaining this fixture.

“We had a team from a US College over here in May which has given the guys an insight into the standard we can expect this weekend, though we’ve never played a full international side so it’s a big match for us and is an excellent opportunity to put our players in the shop window.

“I’d urge anyone to come along and support us and find out first hand how exciting American Football can be.”

Four of Loughborough’s GB Lions will be in action in this pre-Test warm-up. Linebacker Matt Davis, wide receiver James Hossack, defensive end Chris Peel and offensive tackle Patrick Harris have all been named in the 25-man squad and will be hoping their performances earn them a run-out for GB later in the week.

Also in the full GB squad is graduate Rod Bradley who plays warrior Spartan in the popular television show Gladiators.

The tri-nations series, hosted at Loughborough University, takes place on Tuesday 21 July (Australia v GB Lions, 5pm), Thursday 23 July (Australia v Sweden, 5pm) and Saturday 25 July (GB v Sweden, 3pm).

Entry is free and spectators are welcome.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T:01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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