San Diego, CA (September 1, 2005) – The United States Rugby Foundation is auctioning off French flanker Eric Champ’s #6 jersey to support its youth and high school grant programs. Champ, one of rugby’s most colourful players during the late 1980s and early 90s, had a long and distinguished career for the Les Tricolores. He earned 42 caps for the French, making his debut against Argentina in 1985 before his retirement from international rugby after the 1991 Rugby World Cup. A picture of the jersey, along with a description and account of the test match between the United States and France from July 13, 1991 can be found on eBay, item #5237136793. The bidding will conclude at 10:00 am (PST) on Sunday, September 11, 2005.
“The French team in the early 1990s had a backline full of brilliant players,” said USRF Executive Director Brian Vizard, who is donating 10 jerseys he’s collected throughout his international career with the U.S. to be used as auction items. “They also had one of the roughest forward packs to ever be assembled. That first test in 1991 against the French was one of the bloodiest matches I was ever involved in.”
The Champ jersey is the third jersey to be auctioned by the USRF. A Dean Richards England #8 jersey was the first to be posted on eBay and raised $760 while a rare green Welsh jersey worn by #8 Paul Moriarty brought in $860.
The USRF is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization established in 1963. Although its main focus is supporting youth and high school rugby, the Foundation also provides grants to coaches and referees; establishes international student exchanges and college scholarships, has assisted the United States Collegiate All-Americans and Boys Under-19 teams, and also provides grants to Safety and Risk Management Research.
For more information about the United States Rugby Foundation, visit www.usrugbyfoundation.org.