Emirates Airline has agreed a sponsorship deal with USA Rugby, which will include Emirates flying the Eagles squad to the 2011 Rugby World Cup...

Emirates Airline has agreed a sponsorship deal with USA Rugby, which will include Emirates flying the Eagles squad to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

The sponsorship is an extension of Emirates’ existing agreement with the US Rugby Sevens teams, and will see the Dubai-based airline’s branding appear on the shirts of both the national men’s and women’s rugby teams for the next six years.

Emirates is also a Worldwide Partner of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which will be staged in New Zealand in September 2011.

The US Eagles qualified for the tournament last year, and face double Rugby World Cup winners Australia as well as Ireland, Italy and Russia in their pool.

The Eagles first take to the pitch wearing their new kit on June 5, when they play in the Churchill Cup, which this year is being held in both Denver and New Jersey. Matches are being broadcast in the United States and the UK.

This photo shows US Eagles player Colin Hawley in the new Emirates-branded kit for the US national men's rugby team

“Emirates has a long standing involvement in rugby, both the traditional XV-a-side and the rapidly growing sevens form of the game, and we are delighted to extend our relationship with USA Rugby,” Maurice Flanagan, executive vice chairman, Emirates Airline and Group. “Following the recent decision to admit rugby sevens into the Olympic Games in 2016, this is a particularly exciting time and we look forward to working with USA Rugby to help promote and grow the game across the United States.”

“Emirates is rightly renowned for its tremendous investment in sports sponsorships around the world, and this represents a fantastic association for USA Rugby,” says Nigel Melville, chief executive officer and president of rugby operations, USA Rugby. “The next 16 months will be extremely important and challenging for the Eagles, as we work towards the Rugby World Cup, but before that we have plenty of rugby to play, including the Churchill Cup starting this weekend at Infinity Park, Glendale. I am delighted to have Emirates on board as we look forward to an exciting future for USA Rugby.”

Dubai-based Emirates has sponsored the US Rugby Sevens teams (both men and women) since December 2009, and the men’s team, under the guidance of Al Caravelli, has enjoyed a successful season on the IRB World Sevens Series. The team’s success including reaching a Cup final for the first time in Adelaide, Australia in February.

Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA Rugby was formed in 1975. There are now more than 95,000 registered players and coaches across the country.

The US Eagles face England and Russia in the 2010 Churchill Cup, the biggest rugby tournament in North America. For more information and ticket sales for the Churchill Cup contact www.churchillcuprugby.net.

For more information on its US Eagles sponsorship sponsorship and other Emirates sponsorships, visit www.emirates.com.