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Home > News > Supermac has world at his feet
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Your News Supermac has world at his feet

ESHER star Phil Mackenzie returns to Molesey Road in the Churchill

Cup next week dreaming of booking his ticket to the World Cup finals.

The 24-year-old Canada centre will be in action

against Russia on Wednesday as Esher help stage the prestigious

tournament for the first time.

And Mackenzie cannot wait for the six-team competition to get underway

with Canada hoping to repeat their success a year ago when they reached

the final only to lose to England Saxons.

The Churchill Cup kicks off on Saturday at Northampton with Mackenzie’s

Canadians taking on Italy A in Pool B and England Saxons facing the USA

in Pool A.

Then the action switches to Esher on June 8 with Canada taking on

Russia and the United States facing Tonga, the side who meet hosts New

Zealand in the World Cup curtain-raiser on September 9.

Mackenzie admits he cannot wait to run out at his home ground at Esher

with a World Cup place up for grabs.

Mackenzie said: “We’re all super excited about the event. It’s a great

way to start the summer and I’m looking forward to playing at Esher in

front of some familiar faces and catching up with people.

“The Churchill Cup this year is going to be huge with every player

trying to impress with the World Cup just a few months away now.

“Obviously I will be trying to make an impression and put my hand up to

go to the World Cup with the squad being announced shortly afterwards.

It’s the last chance to make a statement.”

Mackenzie shone last year as Canada stunned France A to reach the final

against England Saxons before losing 38-18.

Mackenzie, who often starts at inside centre for his country but at 13

for Esher, added: “It was a great win over the French and we are hoping

to reach the final again this year. It will be a major upset if England

Saxons didn’t reach the final but anything can happen.”

Esher could have two players in Churchill Cup action with Mackenzie’s

younger brother Jamie expected to play in Canada’s third game. The

group winners go into the final but the other four teams will be

involved in Plate and Bowl finals.

Esher are hoping for a 2,300 sell-out crowd next Wednesday with four

World Cup final sides on show as Molesey Road stages men’s

international rugby for the first time. Tonga face USA in the opener at

5.30pm with Mackenzie’s Canadians taking on Russia at 8pm.

It is a real coup for Championship side Esher and Chairman of Rugby

John Inverdale hopes local rugby fans will pack out Molesey Road next

Wednesday.

BBC sports presenter Inverdale said: “A fifth of all the teams playing

at the Rugby World Cup will be at Esher that afternoon so it’s a

fantastic opportunity for people to see players who will be appearing

on the biggest stage in a few months.

“For all four nations it is a massively important part of their

preparations as they build up to the World Cup.

“Tonga are actually opening the Rugby World Cup against New Zealand and

that team will be at our place on June 8 so it’s a real feather in our

cap to have international rugby of this calibre at Esher.

“It’s the first time ever we have had men’s international rugby here so

I hope people will turn out to support what I am sure will be a

tremendous afternoon.”

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