Rugby hero Phil Vickery backs Team GB in Tri-Nations Butchers’ Challenge

Former England rugby star Phil Vickery has been drafted in to put Team GB through their paces as they prepare to take on Australia and New Zealand ““ in a butchery test match.

World Cup winner Phil, who won Celebrity Masterchef in 2011, joined the team of top butchers from around the country – all members of the national Butchers Q Guild – for a training session in the Midlands and gave them some top tips on dealing with the Kiwis and the Aussies, who he faced on the pitch many times.

The three countries will square up in the Tri-Nations Butchers’ Challenge on Thursday, July 10. It is being held on home soil for the first time at the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate.

It comes at the end of a week-long study tour for the visitors, who will be calling in at farms and retailers around the country, looking to share best practice and encourage young people into the profession.

The home team, the British Beefeaters, comprises team captain David Lishman, of Lishman’s Butchers in Ilkley, Robert Jones and Nigel Rose, of Birmingham-based Walter Smith Fine Foods, Richard Carter, of Chase Farm Shop in Sutton Coldfield, Martin Crombie, of Aubrey Allen Butchers, Leamington Spa, and Surrey’s James Lally, of James of Shepperton.

Backing the home team, Phil said: “I know what it’s like to play to against the Aussies and the Kiwis and I hope I’ve done all I can to put the boys through their paces, as we look to give them a good thrashing on home turf. Butchery is hugely skilled and we want everyone to get behind our home-grown talent.”

Pitching six of the top butchers from Australia, New Zealand and Britain against each other in a two-hour team challenge, the 2014 Tri-Nations Butchers Challenge will be judged on cutting skill and innovation in presentation as they prepare a display for judges.

The teams will need to know their flanks from their wings if they want to leave victorious, as they will be working together try-ing to create something that really stands out!