Biggest High Goal Battle of 2014 – England versus Argentina at Audi International Polo -Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park, 26 July 2014

The England line-up for the forthcoming Audi International, the UK’s most high-profile polo event, has just been announced. With the home nation facing Argentina, probably the most dominant polo nation in the world, England introduces fresh polo talent in its attempt to retain one of polo’s most prestigious trophies – the Coronation Cup.

At Guards Polo Club, near Windsor, on Saturday 26 July 2014, England’s young Ollie Cudmore will play alongside Luke Tomlinson (captain), Mark Tomlinson and James Beim for the historic Coronation Cup for the very first time. At the age of only 24, Cudmore will become the youngest English player to have represented England on International Day at Guards Polo Club in over a decade – a huge achievement for the highly talented British professional.

The announcement of the three stalwarts of the England squad (two Tomlinsons and Beim), who will form the backbone of the team, is no surprise ; this gifted trio has been played many times before with outstanding results. So, the selection of the fourth player in the line-up might well raise a few eyebrows among England polo fans as Cudmore has a handicap of only 4 goals*, two goals below any of his fellow players, and England will be fielding a 24 goal team against the tough Argentine opposition of 26 goals. But there is very good reason behind the selection.

Cudmore has been a regular on the high goal circuit since 2010 – a role that is hard to maintain year-on-year but as a result of his skill, consistency and true understanding of the game, he has earned the respect of polo players – both in the UK, as well as over the ‘polo globe‘.

Additionally, these four England players created polo history earlier this year when they were victorious in the Copa de las Naciones at Palermo in Buenos Aires, defeating a strong Argentine team to claim the title. This spectacular win undoubtedly influenced the decision of the selectors, who are responsible for sending out the best performing team of the moment in the hope of getting the England team engraved once again on the Coronation Cup.

For the last nine years, Luke Tomlinson as captain has been firmly in charge of the national team and this year he cemented his position at the top by becoming the most successful England polo captain in history. Alongside James Beim and Mark Tomlinson (Luke’s younger brother), the trio has lifted the Coronation Cup for the last three years so it will be more determined than ever to defeat the quartet from Argentina to make it four successive conquests.

As previously announced, Argentina will include Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres, two ten-goal players – the best in the world – both of whom were part of the successful 2009 Argentina line-up but this will not phase the England team.

With both team line-ups now declared for the biggest polo battle of the season, the England supporters will be hoping that the combination of youth and experience in its home team will be more than enough to challenge the talented Argentine team.

Come match day one thing is for certain, the Audi International – with the world’s top polo talent and with a crowd of thousands – will guarantee the most thrilling high goal clash of the year.

The Audi International also offers exceptional hospitality and a range of entertainment for a great day out in the royal park.

For further information please go to www.coronationcuppolo.com

For tickets and hospitality, please call Guards Polo Club on 01784 437797 or email ticket.office@guardspoloclub.com

Note to Editors

Confirmed Teams for the Audi International, Guards Polo Club – 26 July 2014
England – Luke Tomlinson (7); Mark Tomlinson (6); James Beim (7); Ollie Cudmore (4)
Argentina – Adolfo Cambiaso (10); Facundo Pieres (10); Julio Ruggeri (3); Francisco Belaustegui (3)

*Polo Handicap System
The polo handicap system was created back in 1890 so that teams could be more evenly matched when using players with varying abilities. Players are rated on a scale from ‘minus 2 goal’ for a novice to ’10 goal’ for an elite player. A rating of 2 goals and above usually indicates a professional player. It is not (nor has it ever been) an estimate of the number of goals a player might score in a game, but rather of the player’s worth to his or her team. It is the overall rating of a player’s horsemanship, team play, knowledge of the game, strategy and horses.

The handicaps of all four players in the two teams are totalled, and any difference is added to the scoreboard before the match begins.

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