The first of the England polo team’s new test matches takes place next month. The 27-goal Evolution Test Match, against Argentina, heralds a new era as the national side gains prominence through an increase in international fixtures.
Simon Tomlinson, chairman of the Beaufort Polo Club, where the test takes place on 25 June, said: “The driving force behind these fixtures is Audi’s three-year backing, which enables England to develop as a squad.”
England’s senior squad last faced Argentina in 2002 in Buenos Aires, where they beat their hosts. But in 2000, Argentina beat England on Cartier International Day at Guards.
This time, England will face a team based around young Gonzalito Pieres and Pablo MacDonough. The England side will be selected in early June.
Tomlinson added: “It’ll be a tough call: some of these players are rated even higher in Argentina than they are here, and they’ll be hard to beat.”
The match will be followed by an all-female game, in which England Ladies take on a Rest of the World side. The England contingent is likely to include three-goaler Nina Vestey. Their opponents will include US four-goaler Sunny Hale.
The action will continue with a party hosted by Boujis, a Kensington nightclub.
The test is a joint venture between Beaufort, Cirencester Park Polo Club and the Hurlingham Polo Association. Matches will alternate between the Gloucestershire clubs.
A second test takes place at Cowdray Park, completing the squad’s seven outings in 2005.