The Melbourne Chargers have won this year’s biennale Bingham Cup grand final.
Hosted in Nashville, Tennessee, the tournament became a showdown between two Australian teams, the Sydney Convicts and the Melbourne Chargers.
The Chargers maintained a steady lead for the duration of the game, eventually coming out on top 20 – 7.
The Chargers club founder Ben Lancken told the Sydney Star Observer: ‘It’s a moment to be relished by anybody who has ever pulled on the jersey, fundraised, supported, volunteered, or contributed in any way.’
‘I couldn’t be prouder… eight years and we’ve done it,’ he said.
Jeff Wilson, chairman of International Gay Rugby, told Gay Star News: ‘This is an exciting time for our IGR athletes, coaches, referees and supporters due to the size and location of the tournament.’
‘We are delighted to bring the Bingham Cup Tournament back to the USA for the first time in six years and look forward to the largest and best gay and inclusive rugby tournament ever presented,’ he said.
The tournament consisted of over 50 teams from around the world, including the Amsterdam Lowlanders, Atlanta Bucks, New York Gotham Knights, Toronto Muddy York, Stockholm Berserkers, Manchester Village Spartans and Cologne Crushers, among others.
Previous reigning champions of the cup, the Sydney Convicts told Gay Star News: ‘We are gutted to lose the Bingham Cup,’ said club president Don Rose.
‘But could not be more proud of the effort that all of our players in our A and B teams put in over the tournament,’ Rose said.
The Bingham Cup is named in honour of Mark Bingham, who was fundamental in the establishment of two premier gay rugby clubs.
Bingham died in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centres and the cup was named in his honour.
The Sydney Convicts will face the Melbourne Chargers again at the Purchas Cup in September.