Wednesday 18th November will see the 94th edition of the Annual Major Stanley’s Match when a select invitational side will take on the Blues at Iffley Road, kick-off 3.30pm. With the advent of the professional game in the mid-90’s the nature of this prestigious fixture unfortunately changed and in the modern era the professional clubs are reluctant to release players to play in such fixtures. As such this year’s Major Stanley’s team, brought together by former OURFC Captain Andy Dalgleish and Henley Hawks coach Pete Davies, has a somewhat ‘local’ feel to it. Added to that we are very pleased to welcome back two former Oxford Blues in the current England Strength & Conditioning coach Tom Tombleson on the wing, Hayden Jeffreys at prop and back row forward Doug Abbott who will have the honour of leading the side. Former Cambridge Blue Chris Lewis will also make another appearance for the Stanley’s’ XV in the centre, whilst former 1975 OURFC Captain Ces Shaw’s son Robbie, a US Eagles International will start at scrum-half.
With just three matches to go until the 134th Varsity Match, there are precious few opportunities left for the Oxford players to press their claims for selection to Captain George Messum and Coach James Wade. Fly-half George Cullen is given a well-earned rest which gives the former Cambridge Blue Andrew Abraham an opportunity at ten, whilst two back row forwards return form injury and figure on the bench in Will Thomas and Will Wilson.
The Jackdaw Lane gates and Pavilion bar will be open from 2.00pm and the Iffley Road gates from 2.30pm. Please note that due to the marquee being up for the corporate luncheon event, the car parking on site is severely restricted and only those people with a permit specifically for this fixture will be able to park in the ground. For alternative places to park, please click through the Contact Us section of the website.
Major Stanley’s Team:
1 James Eckett (Grove) 2 Ed Church (Henley) 3 Harry Jackson (Henley) 4 Callum Haggett (Cardiff Blues, Wales U18) 5 Alan Purchase (Ox Harleqins) 6 Doug Abbott * (Barnes) 7 Guiseppe Salustri (Richmond, Italy U18) 8 Ruperst Crossland (Unattached) 9 Robbie Shaw # (Hartpury, US Eagles) 10 Spencer Goggin (Henley) 11 Jake Randall (Henley) 12 Matt Goode (Banbury) 13 Chris Lewis * (Barnes) 14 Tom Tombleson * (Richmond, England 7’s) 15 Stuart Pearham (Henley)
16 Joe Burdis (Richmond) 17 Rowan Fuller (Henley) 18 Hayden Jeffreys * (Unattached) 19 Matt Payne 20 Keni Fisilou # (Oxford Harlequins, Tonga)
*Denotes Blue, # denotes international
Please click through the fixture section of the website.