England have named one of their strongest badminton teams to contest two international matches against Japan in mid-October.
The squad features all four of the six-strong Great Britain badminton team at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games who are still playing competitive badminton.
It includes Nathan Robertson, a gold medallist for Team England at the last two Commonwealth Games and Donna Kellogg, who has three Commonwealth gold medals to her name.
England take on Japan at the University of Bath at 6.45pm on Friday 16th October and follow that up at Loughborough University at 5.45pm on Saturday 16th October.
Robertson partners Anthony Clark in the men's doubles in both matches and teams up with Jenny Wallwork in the mixed doubles in one match, with Clark and Kellogg featuring in the other.
Robertson, Clark and Kellogg were all members of the England team that struck gold in the team event at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, and silver at the Melbourne 2006 Games.
Robertson also partnered the now retired Gail Emms to mixed doubles gold at the Melbourne 2006 Games, while Kellogg collected a brace of gold medals at the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998, one in the women¹s team event and one partnering Jo Goode in the women¹s doubles.
England played Japan in the Sudirman Cup world mixed team championship in May in Guangzhou, China, when they scored a resounding 4-1 win in a match which marked doubles stars Robertson¹s 100th England appearance
Pete Bush, Head Badminton Coach at the University of Bath, said: "This is a terrific opportunity for badminton fans to see some of the best players in the country in action in Bath. We're delighted to have the opportunity to host the first international match of this two-match series against Japan and we're also pleased that England have selected such a strong squad, with four of Britain's Beijing 2008 Olympians due to play in Bath."
Chris Earle, Loughborough University Director of Sport, said: "We are delighted to be able to host this high class fixture and bring international badminton to Loughborough and the wider East Midlands. It's particularly appropriate for us to host this match given our links with Japan and the Japanese Olympic Committee and we look forward to welcoming players from both teams onto campus next month."
The matches will be played under the five-match Sudirman Cup format of men's and women's singles and doubles and one mixed.
Tickets will be £12 adults, £10 Badminton England members and £6 concessions, Under 16, OAP and Students. Tickets are on sale at www.theticketfactory.com
The England squad for the matches is:
Men's singles: Andrew Smith (Hants, age 25, 32 caps). World ranking 28.
Women's singles: Elizabeth Cann (Jersey, age 30, 27 caps). subject to fitness. World ranking: 38.
Men's doubles: Anthony Clark (Notts, age 31, 91 caps) & Nathan Robertson (Notts, age 32, 100 caps). World ranking: 10 Women's doubles: Donna Kellogg (Derby, age 31, 87 caps) & Jenny Wallwork (Yorks, age 22, caps 20). World ranking: - Mixed doubles: Clark & Kellogg (World ranking: 12) and Robertson & Wallwork (World ranking: 32).
For further information please contact the Commonwealth Games England press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 443998.
Commonwealth Games England is the organisation responsible for selecting and organising England's team at the Commonwealth Games. At the last Games, held in Melbourne in 2006, Team England were second only to hosts Australia on the medal table winning 36 gold, 40 silver and 34 bronze medals.
Sport England is a major funder of Team England.