Guernsey Raiders and Jersey Reds have agreed to a unique ‘double date’ for the 2020 and 2021 stagings of one of rugby union’s oldest trophies, the Siam Cup.
With all rugby currently on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Island neighbours had no option but to postpone the Siam encounter scheduled to take place in Guernsey on May 2nd this year.
The Raiders and the Reds will now face each other in a brace of Siam Cup match-ups in May 2021, and are delighted that Santander International has agreed to extend its sponsorship of the event for a third and fourth time.
The postponed 2020 Santander International Siam Cup will now be staged at Footes Lane in Guernsey in May 2021. This occasion will mark the centenary of the presentation of the Siam Cup, and feature matches between the rival 1st teams as well as 2nd XV, Women’s and Veterans’ games.
Later in May 2021, the Siam spotlight will move 26 miles east to Jersey, with another series of four matches being staged at the Reds’ home ground, Stade Santander International.
The exact dates will be confirmed once the structure for the 2020/21 season has been finalised.
Charles McHugh, Chairman of Guernsey Raiders, said: “The Guernsey Raiders have reached out to the Jersey Reds to ensure neither club would be disadvantaged by the postponement of the 2020 Santander International Siam Cup festival of rugby.
“With the Raiders being promoted to National 2 South and set to play 30 matches next season, and with Jersey Reds’ busy Championship playing calendar, it means there are few ‘bye’ weekends where we could rearrange this fixture. Given the uncertainties surrounding the start date for next season, we have opted for the certainty of a double-header in May 2021.”
Jersey Reds’ Chairman Mark Morgan said: “The Siam Cup is hugely significant for both clubs. As well as its long history, it provides vital revenue for us both, which will be especially important as we look to recover from the impact of coronavirus. We’re very pleased to have reached this agreement with Guernsey and that Santander International will be sponsoring both events once again.”
Santander International CEO James Pountney said: “We’re delighted with the decision that Guernsey and Jersey will each host the Siam Cup in May next year. After so many sporting events being cancelled this year due to coronavirus, next year’s Siam Cups will be extra special for both Islands.”
The Siam Cup trophy, made from silver coins, was presented in 1920 by Lieutenant-Colonel C.H. Forty, a Guernseyman who was part of a group of five Channel Islanders serving in Siam (modern-day Thailand) who wanted to encourage sporting competition between Guernsey and Jersey. Organised rugby was not staged regularly at this time, but the trophy was first competed for between military sides in 1928, with the Island clubs commencing annual contests in 1935, since when the Siam has been interrupted only by the Second World War.