2017/18 Greene King IPA Championship season launched at Twickenham Stadium
The ninth season of the Greene King IPA Championship launched with all 12 club captains and coaches attending the season launch event at Twickenham Stadium.
Hosted by former Greene King IPA Championship player Tom May, the event saw John Barnes, Geoff Irvine, Pat Lam and Nigel Melville discuss the building excitement ahead of the new season.
The launch of the new season was also marked with the news that the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has renewed its partnership with Greene King IPA for a further three seasons.
The extension will see Greene King IPA retain its title partnership of the Greene King IPA Championship, cementing its position as a key supporter of rugby at all levels of the game.
Commenting on the partnership extension, RFU Chief Executive Officer, Ian Ritchie said: "This is a very exciting time for the Greene King IPA Championship and we are delighted that Greene King IPA has committed to support the competition for three more seasons.
"Extending our relationship with Greene King IPA is another strong step forward on our mission to continue improving the league, and to have such an established brand like Greene King IPA invest in the competition is a real credit to the clubs and their continued efforts to drive this competition forward."
The news of Greene King IPA's partnership extension was supported with the announcement that the RFU has invested in two significant marketing initiatives that will help to further promote the competition; a bespoke Greene King IPA Championship website and a redesign of the competition's brand identity.
ChampionshipRugby.co.uk will officially launch ahead of the first weekend of fixtures in September.
In addition, the RFU has committed to live stream up to ten games this season which will be hosted on the new website along with the England Rugby social media channels and will be led by a commentary team of Tom May, Rob Vickerman and Nick Heath.
This is in addition to the 11 games that Sky Sports - the official broadcaster of the Greene King IPA Championship - will air throughout the season.
Round one of the 2017/18 Greene King IPA Championship will commence on Saturday 2 September 2017.